Despite rumors swirling that Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins could be a trade candidate, leading members of the Bengals organization find the idea a bit ridiculous.
“I’m in the business of making the Cincinnati Bengals better, so trading Tee Higgins is not on my mind,” Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said at an NFL Combine news conference on Tuesday. “That’s their problem. They want a receiver; go find your own. In my opinion, Tee Higgins is a good piece for the Cincinnati Bengals, so the trade stuff is a little ridiculous right now.”
Higgins is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, with no fifth-year option at the Bengals’ disposal because Higgins was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Only first-round picks have fifth-year options built into their contracts.
As a result of his looming payday, some in the NFL community have speculated the Bengals could shop the former Clemson standout because other priorities will take precedence and eat up plenty of salary-cap space. Quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase also will be extension eligible soon.
However, it appears the Bengals view Higgins as a part of their long-term plans, based on Tobin’s comments, and a trade might be far-fetched at this point. Higgins is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yards campaigns. He has had at least 65 catches and six touchdowns in all three of his NFL seasons.
The Bengals, meanwhile, consider themselves contenders next season. They’ve appeared in two consecutive AFC Championships games and Super Bowl LVI and have no plans on taking a step back in 2023.