Bengals GM provides insight into Tee Higgins' situation

The wide receiver's future in Cincinnati remains a hot topic
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals decided to designate wide receiver Tee Higgins as a franchise player for the 2024 season. While speaking with media members at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin, the team's de facto general manager, provided some insight into that decision.

While Tobin made it clear that the team is very high on Higgins, he didn't completely rule out the idea that they could still potentially trade the receiver later this offseason.

“The message is we really like Tee and we are a better team with Tee,” Tobin said. “In terms of our intention going forward and answering hypotheticals of what could and couldn’t come about, I won’t get into that.

"We feel like we are a better team with him," Tobin added of Higgins. "The reason we franchised him is because we would like to have him. He’s not under contract, and it’s hard for me to predict all the different scenarios that could happen. But we feel strongly about Tee Higgins and his fit with us.”

While a case could be made that trading Higgins could actually be beneficial for the Bengals in the long run, Tobin emphasized the fact that the wants Higgins to remain in orange-and-black.

“We tagged him with the intent of him playing for us,” Tobin said. “He’s a good player. We want good players. He fits us perfectly. So we tagged him for that reason. The hypotheticals of what could happen, you know, it’s hard for me to comment on.”

For what it's worth, Bengals coach Zac Taylor is excited about the potential of having Higgins' services at his disposal for another season, at least.

“He’s one of the top receivers in this league, and we don’t want that just walking out of the building,” Taylor said of Higgins. “So when you’ve got an opportunity to put a tag on him and keep him in the building and let him play at least another season for us, I think that’s critical.”

Based on these comments from both Tobin and Taylor, it sure sounds like Higgins will be playing for the Bengals next season. However, you can't rule anything out in the NFL. Perhaps another team will ultimately lay out an offer for Higgins that Cincinnati simply can't refuse. After all, there's plenty of teams that could use a young, electric pass-catcher.

Or, if it starts to seem unlikely that the two sides will ever come to an agreement on a long-term extension, maybe the Bengals will look to flip Higgins this offseason, rather than risking losing him for nothing next year.