New Steelers WR Reveals Reason He Used to ‘Hate’ Pittsburgh

Miles Boykin

Todd Olszewski/Getty Images Wide receiver Miles Boykin catches a touchdown in front of Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams at M&T Bank Stadium on November 1, 2020.

Ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in a total of four wide receivers for pre-draft visits, namely: Diontae Johnson, Miles Boykin, Andy Isabella and Dillon Mitchell.

“It was crazy because I thought the Steelers were going to draft me originally,” Boykin told Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on May 26. That didn’t happen, though, as the Steelers passed on him in favor of Toledo Rockets wide receiver Diontae Johnson. That set the stage for Baltimore to select Boykin No. 93 overall — and his feelings for the Steelers franchise changed.

“But when I got to Baltimore, it was like, ‘No, I hate Pittsburgh,’” he said.

Miles Boykin ‘Prepared’ for Release by Ravens

As it turns out, Boykin didn’t experience the NFL success he might have envisioned back in 2019. In three seasons with the Ravens, the 6-foot-4 Notre Dame product appeared in 40 games and made 24 starts but caught just 33 passes for 470 yards, though seven of his 33 receptions did go for touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.

In 2021, he disappeared from the Ravens’ offense almost entirely, which he blames on a pair of injuries.

“Had a hamstring I pretty much dealt with the whole season, a finger injury I dealt with the whole season, but now I’m healthy and I’m ready to go,” he told Batko.

That said, he wasn’t surprised when he heard that the Ravens were planning on waiving him.

“I kind of knew about it since the end of the season. They kind of expressed that my hit on the salary cap was going to be detrimental to them,” said Boykin, recognizing that the Ravens are hoping to do contract extensions with mission-critical players like quarterback Lamar Jackson. |

Meanwhile, the Steelers lost three wide receivers — JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud — in free agency, leaving the team with big holes at the position.

That explains why Pittsburgh was only too happy to claim Boykin on waivers — and take on his $2.54 million salary, which they will owe only if he makes the 53-man roster.

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Boykin Starred With Chase Claypool at Notre Dame

The move re-unites Boykin with former college teammate Chase Claypool, who was Pittsburgh’s second-round pick in 2020. As noted by Batko, the two were a “dominant tandem” during Boykin’s senior season, when they combined for 109 receptions, 1,511 yards and 12 touchdowns, though the majority of that production came from Claypool.

As for his feelings about Baltimore, Boykin doesn’t seem to have any animosity for his former team. He just wants to win a championship.

“Ever since I’ve been in this league, I’ve felt like I have something to prove. But my only goal is to win a Super Bowl. That’s why I’m here,” he told Batko.

But first he has to win a spot in Pittsburgh’s wide receiver room, which got a little more crowded when the Steelers selected two wideouts in the 2022 NFL Draft, namely George Pickens and Calvin Austin III, the latter of whom was coveted by the Ravens, except he got drafted by the Steelers one pick before Baltimore was set to take him.

The two AFC North rivals will meet twice in less than a month this season, first in Pittsburgh on December 11, 2022, and again in Baltimore on New Year’s Day 2023.

Boykin will wear No. 13 with his new team, as opposed to the No. 80 he wore with the Ravens.

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