On Saturday August 1st 2015 a day before the Philadelphia Eagles would start training camp a trade was made.
The Eagles would trade CB Brandon Boykin in state to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 5th round pick* in the 2016 NFL Draft. ( The condition being that if Brandon Boykin plays 60 percent of the snaps or more the Eagles will be rewarded a 4th round pick instead in the 2016 NFL draft.*)
I wrote below how it will benefit all three parties.
HC Chip Kelly knew that Brandon Boykin best fit was to man the slot/nickel position at cornerback. At just 5’9 Boykin didn’t fit what Chip wanted in terms of size at CB to man the outside spot. In Chip’s last two years as HC he has seen enough in game and during practice to not put Boykin in the outside. If more proof is needed look no further than Brandon’s first NFL HC Andy Reid who utilized him in the slot and in his college days in Georgia where he manned the slot. Eagles get a conditional 5th rd. pick that could net them a 4th rd. pick if Boykin plays a ton. Brandon Boykin’s best season came in 2013 under Chip Kelly’s first season in Philly.
42 Solo Tackles
5 Assisted Tackles
16 Passes Defended
6 Interceptions, 1 TD returned from turnover
2014 was a different story for Boykin as he regressed and didn’t play like he did in 2013. Eagles feel comfortable enough in there players at CB all of which are 5’11 or taller. The possible 4thrd. pick they can receive if Boykin plays enough snaps is of good value as they drafted Boykin in the 4th rd. of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Brandon Boykin feels he has something to prove and that is to man a spot on the outside at CB. Brandon gets a fresh start with a team that is in need of secondary help and plays against a division that isn’t as rich at WR (opponents) than is former division rivals the NFC East. Like it or not Boykin is playing on a 1 year rental at an affordable price that will sit well for his new team financially and will benefit them on the field. Brandon Boykin can & should play his best football this year if he wants a new contract be it with the Steelers or another team if he chooses to test the FA market in 2016.
Several years ago the Steelers boasted a stellar secondary the likes of: Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy, Keenan Lewis & William Gay to name a few. William Gay is the only remaining player on the Steelers roster. The Steelers went young at secondary and have used the draft & free agency to build there secondary. Add Brandon Boykin to the Steelers defensive backfield and you have helped improve the secondary dramatically.
The Steelers drafted CB Senquez Golson in 2015 but had put him in (Active/PUP) the length of his absence isn’t known but the addition of Boykin helps mask that injury to Golson. Not to fret Steelers fans this is a good thing for both players as this helps Golson gradually grow as a player and learn from a fellow slot CB in Boykin since Pittsburgh views Golson as just a slot CB I expect Brandon to take Senquez under his wing and show him how to be the best in the slot.
Brandon will bring an added veteran presence to the Steelers secondary that was needed and missed of which will benefit the newly acquired rookies Senquez Golson & Doran Grant.
Expect the Steelers to use him on the outside and on occasions slide to inside. A conditional 5th rd. pick was well worth giving up for a known commodity and at a cheap price even if it is a one year rental my bet however is that he stays long term with the Steelers.
This trade will be closely monitored all season by the Eagles fans & Steelers fans alike I hope the best for Brandon Boykin and I thank him for all that he has done to help the Eagles out. I hope he can shed the label of just being a slot cornerback in this league and does big things in the black & yellow just promise us you will net us a 4th rd. pick and we will all be happy come January. Win, Win, Win.