Bengals news: NFL insider adds to Tee Higgins trade buzz

Higgins' future in Cincinnati remains a hot topic.

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals designated wide receiver Tee Higgins as a franchise player, but that move has done little to squash speculation that the team could still look to trade him over the offseason.

The buzz surrounding a potential Higgins trade was especially loud at the 2024 NFL Combine In Indianapolis, according to ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano.

From ESPN:

"A lot of people in Indy seemed to think the reason the Bengals franchised Tee Higgins as early as they did was so they could trade him. With a Ja'Marr Chase extension likely coming this offseason or next, Cincinnati might not be able to keep the band together around Joe Burrow much longer."

Technically, given the rise in he NFL's salary cap for next season, the Bengals could probably afford to pay both Chase and Higgins. If they want to do that, though, is another question entirely. In today's NFL, it's fair to wonder if allocating so much salary space to two receivers is wise.

Duke Tobin left the door open for a potential trade

Given recent comments from Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin, this recent report isn't especially surprising. While Tobin made it clear that the team values Higgins highly, he didn't rule out the notion that Cincinnati 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 last month. “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.”

It doesn't necessarily sound like the Bengals are desperate to trade Higgins, but it does seem like if an attractive enough offer materializes, Cincinnati would at least strongly consider it. As a result, this will certainly be a situation to continue to keep an eye on as the offseason moves forward.