Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cloudy Future for Boykin?

Let me start by saying this: Brandon Boykin is a great player, losing him would be a tremendous blow to the defense.

Now just stick with me here. I think there is legitimate reason to be concerned about his future in Philadelphia based on two issues; opportunity and money.

Let's first look at the issue of opportunity. Chip Kelly has been firm in his stance on keeping Brandon Boykin on the inside. He views outside corner as a completely different position than inside corner, once comparing them with outside and inside linebacker.

At 5-9, Boykin bends every size and length rule in Chip Kelly's toolbox. But Chip is likely comfortable with Boykin manning the slot based on his performance and the size of the average slot WR. The Wes Welker's and Danny Amendola's of the world won't overwhelm Boykin with their size. Is Chip comfortable matching up Boykin against the more physically imposing outside receivers of the NFL? I do not know.

Boykin has made it clear that he's looking for an opportunity to play outside at some point, I just don't know if he'll be given that opportunity in Philadelphia.

Having said that, Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman truly value what Boykin brings to the defense. He's the best slot corner in the game. But that brings us to the next issue: money.

Let's take a look at some contracts that have been given out recently:

Joe Haden - 5-year $68 million extension, $45M guaranteed

Richard Sherman - 4-year $57.4 million extension, $40M guaranteed

Aqib Talib - 6-year $57 million deal, $26M guaranteed

Patrick Peterson is likely to top these numbers in the next week or two. Darrelle Revis is set to sign a mega-deal next summer.

I would assume Philadelphia has no issue making Boykin the highest paid player at his position, however that's where the issue lies. His position is slot corner, not outside corner. And like I said, to Chip, they're apples and oranges.

Here are some top slot corners and their current deals:

Walter Thurmond - 1-year $3 million

Chris Harris - 1-year $2.187 million

Captain Munnerlyn - 3-year $11.25 million

Orlando Scandrick - 5-year $25 million

The Eagles would be fine topping all those deals for Boykin's talent. But it's human nature for Boykin to think he deserves to be one of the higher paid corners in the NFL. Mind you, he was tied for second in the NFL last year in interceptions with six.

Outside is where the money lies. Would the Eagles be comfortable paying $8 million per year for a guy who plays 51.7% of the defensive snaps? Maybe.

Ideally, this gets resolved next off-season. Either Chip gives Boykin a chance on the outside, or Eagles brass opens up their checkbook to write a record-setting contract for a slot corner.

Boykin is one of the few playmakers on this defense, Philadelphia cannot afford to lose him.

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