Tee Higgins is in line for a huge contract extension, but not everybody thinks he deserves to get one from the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe recently spoke with multiple anonymous league executives and coaches about how the Bengals should approach new contracts for Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. If they choose to, the Bengals could extend both Higgins and Burrow this offseason.
However, one executive and one coach think the Bengals should let Higgins walk because of the cost and how much attention Ja’Marr Chase commands.
The anonymous coach said to the Athletic:
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“Higgins is good, but I think you let Higgins walk. Honestly, you may want to try to trade him this year while there’s value and then go draft a young receiver. He’s really good in that system. He’s a good receiver, but I don’t think he’s so dynamic that you can’t replace his value or production. Chase is going to command so much more attention, that whoever is playing opposite of him is going to get favorable matchups.”
Last season, Higgins proved he can be a No. 1 wide receiver with Ja’Marr Chase out in the middle of the season and his numbers proved it. He posted 26 catches, 371 yards, and 2 touchdowns in the four games without Chase.
“If it was me and I’m Cincinnati and they have a little bit of a runway from the success over the past two years, I would look for the replacement,” a second executive told Howe. “I would go heavy on signing (Burrow) and Ja’Marr Chase and let Tee Higgins play out the year and look for his replacement. Or if there is some unbelievable trade option, consider that.”
The 24-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Spotrac projects his next contract to be worth four years and $80.6 million. That number would make him the 11th-highest-paid wideout.
He is fresh off his second straight 1,000-yard receiving season, and he has been a consistent performer from the moment he entered the league. A weapon like Higgins is not something you take away from Joe Burrow, especially after he has taken to this franchise to two-straight AFC Championship games including a Super Bowl appearance.
However, sacrifices are required in a salary-capped league, and it will be tough to retain Higgins when the team still needs to pay Burrow and Chase at market-level rates as well. Burrow is likely to get the biggest contract in franchise history.
Drafting a receiver worked out nicely for the Bengals in 2020 and 2021, so the scouting department may feel comfortable in finding a replacement for Higgins.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.