Tyler Boyd got paid, and that makes sense. He’s emerged as a viable, up-and-coming slot receiver.

Per reports, Boyd agreed to a four-year extension worth $43 million.

"He doesn't scare,” owner Mike Brown says. “He's a difference-maker.”

It’s a good deal for both sides. The Bengals didn’t want Boyd getting to free agency next spring. For Boyd, he gets some security (he was under contract for 2019 for only $1 million).

For Boyd, I suppose the only issue was whether he wanted to bet on himself and try for a lot more. If Boyd in 2019 played anything like he did last year, he could have racked in a lot more coin next spring. (With these reports, keep in mind that they typically don’t mention that the existing year remains in place – that is, Boyd isn’t signed for $43 million for the next four years; they’ve got him for $44 million for five years – under $9 per season.)

But with Boyd only a play away from a career-altering concussion or knee injury, it would have been hard for him to play for just $1 million. This deal is a big upgrade for him, and it’s a nice upgrade for the Bengals to avoid having to really open the vault for him.

Boyd is a really good player. In my opinion, relative to where he’ll be selected in drafts, he’ll be a better “value” than his more heralded teammate, A.J. Green. Green is good, but he turns 31 next week and has dipped a little in recent years. Boyd averaged more yards per target last year, and he posted better PPR numbers in five of the last seven games that both played last year (Green averaged slightly better per-game numbers, but he tailed off after catching 3 TDs in the first half of a Week 2 win over Baltimore.)

Some will argue that it’s Green’s talent that opens up things for Boyd – by commanding double teams and whatnot. That’s fair, and I’m not suggesting Boyd will never ascend into being a Green or Julio-type playmaker. But he’s become a reliable inside receiver. After a suspect first two seasons, he looked like a possible bust, but Boyd has things turned around now.

Among wide receivers starting at least half of the season, only 19 averaged at least 15 points per game last year. Only four teams had two of those players – Steelers, Vikings, Rams and Bengals.

Davante Adams, G.B.157.492.4.8922.0
Antonio Brown, Pitt.156.986.51.0021.6
DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.
Tyreek Hill, K.C.165.492.4.8820.9
Julio Jones, Atl.167.1104.8.5020.6
Michael Thomas, N.O.167.887.8.5620.0
Adam Thielen, Min.
Odell Beckham, NYG126.487.7.5619.1
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.166.989.1.4618.7
Mike Evans, T.B.165.495.3.5618.3
Stefon Diggs, Min.156.868.1.6217.8
Julian Edelman, N.E.
T.Y. Hilton, Ind.145.490.7.4317.1
A.J. Green, Cin.
Robert Woods, LAR165.476.2.4416.6
Keenan Allen, LAC166.174.8.4016.4
Emmanuel Sanders, Den.125.972.3.4416.4
Tyler Boyd, Cin.145.473.4.5015.8
Brandin Cooks, LAR165.075.3.3815.2
Amari Cooper, Oak.-Dal.
Alshon Jeffery, Phil.
Tyler Lockett, Sea.163.660.3.6513.9
Kenny Golladay, Det.154.770.9.3313.8
Jarvis Landry, Cle.
Josh Gordon, N.E.
Calvin Ridley, Atl.
Marvin Jones, Det.93.956.4.5612.9
DeSean Jackson, T.B.123.464.5.4212.6
Golden Tate, Det.-Phi.154.953.0.2912.2
DJ Moore, Car.
Allen Robinson, Chi.
Chris Godwin, T.B.153.752.8.4911.9
Adam Humphries, T.B.164.851.0.3111.8
Mohamed Sanu, Atl.
Sammy Watkins, K.C.
Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz.164.345.9.4211.5
Corey Davis, Ten.
Dede Westbrook, Jac.
Robby Anderson, NYJ143.653.7.4311.5
Sterling Shepard, NYG164.154.5.2711.4
Mike Williams, LAC162.741.5.7111.3
Devin Funchess, Car.

—Ian Allan