For this free agent signing, and all signings from this point forward, we will be breaking the move down into four categories. Each category is worth up to 25 points and a final grade will be handed out based on the total score. These are the definitions of each category:
Player- How has the player produced to this point in his career? Where does he rank among other players at his position?
Team Fit- How does he fit within the offensive or defensive scheme?
Team Need- Is this position a weak spot on the roster? Does this move strengthen the position?
Contract- Is this a reasonable contract based on production? Did the team over spend or did they get a steal?
Score: 17 out of 25
Jarrett Boykin was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and he spent the past three seasons with the team. His best season came in 2013 when he replaced an injured Randall Cobb in the Packers’ high powered offense. He finished that year with 49 receptions, 681 yards and three touchdowns, which are all career highs.
He saw his role diminish significantly last season when he was passed on the depth chart by Davante Adams. He finished the season with only three receptions and 12 yards and the Packers decided not to re-sign the young receiver. At 6’2” and 218 pounds he has the size to play outside but also has plenty of speed to stretch the field as evident of his 13.9 yards per reception in 2013.
Score: 23 out of 25
The addition of Boykin gives the Panthers two players now that can line up on the outside, have the speed to get down field and the size to win jump balls. This should help spread the field for Cam Newton and give Greg Olsen more room to work in the middle of the field with safeties having to pay closer attention to the outsides with Kelvin Benjamin and Boykin playing out there.
Score: 25 out of 25
Last offseason the Panthers completely re-hauled the wide receiver position when they let their top three wide receivers go (Steve Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., and Brandon LaFell) and replaced them with a whole new group (Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant). Some of the moves worked out great in the case of Kelvin Benjamin and some not so much in the case of Jason Avant.
The front office is giving it another shot of building up the position and have already brought back Ginn Jr. to man the slot. However, the team still needed some size on the outside opposite Benjamin. The latest addition Boykin is the perfect for the spot.
Score: 25 out of 25
The full terms of the contract have yet to be released but what is known is that it is a one-year deal. This is a perfect low-risk, high-reward move for the Panthers as well as for Boykin. The team is taking a chance on a player who is still young and has shown at times to be more than an effective wide receiver. Boykin meanwhile has the chance to rebuild his stock after a down year in 2014 and earn himself a bigger paycheck next offseason.
Score: 90 out of 100
This could end up being one of the best moves the Panthers make this offseason. Boykin is young at only 25 years of age, has shown he can produce at a high level and fits a need that the Panthers desperately needed. If for some reason the team gets the 2014 version of Boykin instead of the 2013 version, the contract is only for one-year and they are able to reassess next offseason and continue to search for that number two opposite Benjamin.