This season did not go the way anyone expected for Tee Higgins in a contract year. Normally, guys ball out in contract years and go on to get big-time money. Higgins did not have that kind of contract year and injuries were a big reason for that.
Higgins appeared in 12 games and had 42 catches for 656 yards and five touchdowns. All three of those are career-lows for Higgins.
Even with that being the case, we all know what Higgins is capable of when he's healthy (remember that touchdown he had against the Vikings?) and teams are going to be willing to pay him like a WR1 this offseason. The Bengals extended Joe Burrow and Logan Wilson already but opted not to extend Higgins before the season kicked off. He shares an agent with Jessie Bates, who bolted last offseason for a ton of money so don't be stunned if Higgins does the same.
As the season has gone on and players have discussed Higgins' future, it doesn't sound great for those wanting him back in Cincinnati. The Bengals could franchise tag him but they'd be on the hook for nearly $21 million if they were unable to trade him.
As much as Bengals fans love Higgins, he's likely going to command more money than the front office will be willing to offer him. He should be getting paid like a WR1 and have that role somewhere and that won't be the case for him in Cincinnati. It also probably isn't the best idea to have so much money tied up in the quarterback and two receivers, especially with how poorly the defense played this year.
Another Bengals receiver hitting free agency is Tyler Boyd, who the team spent a second-round draft pick on in 2016. Boyd was extended following his rookie contract but now he's 29 years old and it doesn't feel as though he's part of the Bengals' future plans.
Boyd had 67 catches for 667 yards and two touchdowns this year but sadly, a lot of what people will remember from him this season will be the brutal drop he had in the Texans game. Had Boyd hung onto that ball, Cincinnati likely goes on to win that game and they very well might be heading to the playoffs right now.
Boyd has been a huge piece for the Bengals since he joined the team in the Marvin Lewis era but with him approaching 30 and the Bengals needing to pay other players and address other positions, he feels as good as gone this offseason.