When injuries struck the Packers’ receiving corps last season, reserve Jarrett Boykin had to take a significant role in the offense.
Given an increase in snaps, Boykin did his part for division-champion Green Bay, catching 49 passes for 681 yards and three TDs, the bulk of which came with Aaron Rodgers out of the lineup.
With James Jones departing in free agency, Boykin, a third-year pro, will again get plenty of reps in 2014. Speaking at the NFL meetings in Orlando on Wednesday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy praised Boykin’s development.
“I can’t say enough about Boykin,” McCarthy told reporters, according to a transcript of his remarks from the Pro Football Writers of America.
Added McCarthy: “The young man is a heck of a player,” with the Packers’ head coach noting that “he’s done it the right way, special teams, he’s performed every opportunity he’s given.” McCarthy also indicated that the 24-year-old Boykin will likely ” see more challenges” from defenses this season.
McCarthy also told reporters that he “wouldn’t say we were looking to move on from” Jones, who signed with Oakland, with the Packers’ head coach noting that well-built rosters will occasionally lose veteran players seeking other opportunities.
The Packers have some interesting decisions to make at wide receiver in the near future, with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson entering the final year of their contracts. Both are important parts of the Packers’ offense and will not be cheap to retain.
Boykin, meanwhile, will make $570,000 in 2014, per NFLPA data. He is a restricted free agent after the season, which will allow the Packers to maintain their first-refusal rights. Should he continue to progress, he will prove a nice value for the Packers, even if he were to receive one of the high RFA tenders next offseason.