Perhaps Tajh Boyd and Martavis Bryant haven’t had their last hurrah, after all.
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed the former Clemson University quarterback to their offseason roster on Friday, effectively reuniting him with former teammate and wide receiver Bryant.
Boyd is expected to challenge Bruce Gradkowski, who’s in the final year of a three-year contract, and Landry Jones for the Steelers’ back-up quarterback spot behind starter Ben Roethlisberger.
“I’m excited about it and I thank them for giving me the opportunity,” Boyd said Friday afternoon. “I intend to make the most of it. “
Boyd talked to Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert on Thursday and flew Friday morning to Pittsburgh, where he met with quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, passed a physical exam and underwent a couple of MRIs.
“Coach Fichtner told me that they’d been following me since my Clemson days and with the Jets,” Boyd said. “Everything just presented itself to work out. They believe I’m a guy who can come in there and compete.
“He made it clear that they weren’t just bringing me in there to be a camp arm. They’ve got a legendary quarterback there (Roethlisberger) to learn under. This gives me a chance to go out there and compete and I’m going to make the most of it.”
Boyd, who recently worked out for the Detroit Lions, admitted that the interest from the Steelers took him by surprise.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” said Boyd, who agreed to a one-year contract. “They were a team I didn’t know I was even under consideration with.”
Boyd said he’s scheduled to report in mid-April, but may arrive in Pittsburgh sooner.
“I’ll probably go up early and make sure I understand everything,” he said. “It’s just all about grinding for me now.”
In the meantime, Boyd says he intends to stay sharp by tossing passes to former teammates Jacoby Ford and DeAndre Hopkins.
When camp opens, he’ll have another familiar target in Bryant.
“I talked to him and he’s as excited as I am,” Boyd said.
Boyd, the ACC Player of the Year in 2012, set school and league records for passing yards (11,904) and passing touchdowns (107) during his three seasons as the Tigers’ starter.
Boyd was drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, but was cut from the team in preseason camp.
He played in the Fall Experimental Football League last year and has continued offseason training in hopes of getting another shot with an NFL team.
“If I was to the point that I thought I couldn’t play, I’d just go ahead and get into politics already,” Boyd said, laughing. “But I’m not. I’m putting the political career on hold.”
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