Adam Thielen Jersey

Tyler Boyd back up a solid 2017 season finale with an amazing 2018.

Boyd became the first Bengal not named A.J. Green to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards since Terrell Owens did it in 2010. This was largely due to Green missing seven games with a foot injury, but even when healthy, Boyd led the team in receptions for most of the season, and didn’t trail gar behind in yardage.

Pro Football Focus recently ranked Tyler Boyd the fourth-best slot receiver in the NFL this past season, only graded behind third-place Adam Thielen by half of a point.

According to PFF, the top ranked slot receivers were Tyreek Hill (91.3), Keenan Allen (82.8), Thielen (80.9), Boyd (80.4), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (77.8).

While PFF only graded these receivers based on their routes run from the slot, Boyd actually had a grade of 84.6 on the season if you take into account all of his routes run, weather from the slot or in the boundary. This made him the second-highest graded player on the team behind Green (85.2) and the 12th ranked receiver in the entire league.

Here’s what they had to say about Boyd:

Boyd really opened up the offense for the Bengals, which is why they scored over 30 points a game when everyone was healthy. Boyd took the pressure off of Green, which hadn’t happened at the NFL yet. Not only was Boyd’s production good for his own benefit, but it was also helped Green and Dalton have great seasons.

But injuries stacked up, and the Bengals’ offense took a nosedive. Despite a general downtick in yards and points, Boyd’s production never slumped.

Unlike Hill and Allen, Boyd didn’t have consistent talent around him for the whole season. That makes his performance that much more impressive.

Thankfully for head coach Zac Taylor, he will have a lot of weapons to work with on offense. The question will be if he can put it all together.

MINNEAPOLIS — In past offseasons, the Minnesota Vikings have doled out contract extensions to a handful of players ahead of when their current deals were set to expire. It’s the way the franchise rewarded the likes of Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs during the 2018 offseason.

Another Viking who could be in line for an extension this offseason is Adam Thielen. The wide receiver signed a four-year deal worth $19.246 million in 2017, which will earn him around $8 million next season.

“This team has a lot of really good things in place for it, and I know they want to take care of Adam and I know they want Adam there and I know they want to reward Adam,” Baratz said. “What exactly that looks like and when that happens, I can’t speak to yet, but I’m cautiously optimistic that everyone will come around and do the right thing. There’s not — no one’s being greedy. Everyone understands the situation and it’s really in their court. He has a couple of years left on his deal but he’s earned a significant pay raise. Not to mention what he’s done on the field, he might be one of the best people in the entire National Football League and represents the city and the organization and state and frankly, the entire region unbelievably.”

Added Baratz: “We’re all hopeful that it’ll get done.”

At the start of last training camp, Diggs inked a five-year deal worth $72 million with a $15 million signing bonus. While it isn’t clear whether those figures are what Thielen and his representation are eyeing, a similar deal would put the 28-year-old receiver among the top 10 highest paid at his position.

“In a perfect world, we’d like to get something done,” Baratz said. “We’re going to sit down here and have conversations in these coming weeks and we’ll see where that leads us. I think everyone knows that Adam deserves a new contract. It’s not as simple as just doing a high-level extension in a vacuum. There’s other pieces and the Vikings have done a phenomenal job of managing their salary cap. Rob Brzezinski is one of the best in the game at what he does. It’s not just ‘How do we reward Adam Thielen?’ It’s how do we put our 53-man roster together that also allows for us to have continued success into the future. And I understand that. I have a job to do and Rob and Rick and the Vikings have a job to do, and we respect what each other does. It doesn’t mean we always have to agree, but we respect what each other has to do as our profession.”

The NFL’s 100th season will open with the 199th meeting between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

The league announced Monday that it would forgo the traditional opening-night matchup in which the Super Bowl winner hosts the first game of the season on the Thursday of Week 1.

Instead, one of the NFL’s classic rivalries will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 5, from Chicago’s Soldier Field in prime time (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC). The league also announced that the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will open their season on Sunday Night Football at home against an opponent to be determined.

“As an organization, we are thrilled to be kicking off the 100th season of football in the NFL,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement. “As a charter franchise, we cannot think of a better way to begin our centennial season than by hosting our longtime rival in prime time at Soldier Field.”

The announcement was made at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix.

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