Before I have all of Who Dey Nation jumping down my throat, allow me to clear the air a bit.
I am not saying the Cincinnati Bengals should refuse to pay Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. What I'm really saying is, they need to choose to pay Ja'Marr Chase or Tee Higgins -- and they must decide as soon as possible.
If fans want to see both Higgins and Chase paid to stay in Cincy for the next several years, I have news for you: it's a bad idea.
Why, you ask?
It all hinges around one man, to begin with: Joe Burrow.
If Burrow is as good as Bengals fans believe he is, then he doesn't need a pair of top-10 receivers in terms of annual average salary. After all, Patrick Mahomes didn't even need one of those to win Super Bowl LVIII.
If Joe Burrow is as good as we think he is, the Bengals shouldn't pay both Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
Let's get one thing straight. Whether you want to admit it or not, Patrick Mahomes is on pace to be the greatest quarterback ever to play this great game of football. Barring anything catastrophic or unforeseen, it's going to happen.
The man won a Super Bowl throwing to just a bunch of guys at receiver, for lack of a better explanation.
Burrow, meanwhile, has one of the top-5 wide receivers in football in Chase. And, we know Chase is going to be paid. The Bengals will get his extension done this offseason, no doubt.
The big question is, though, what do they do with Higgins?
Because the Bengals have a relatively healthy cap situation, they could realistically give Higgins the franchise tag.
But, what's the point?
Why would you place the franchise tag on Higgins, knowing good and well that you truly shouldn't pay him on a long-term deal next year? The only reason you do such a thing is if you believe you can win it all next season.
And in the team's current state, they cannot win it all. This team needs to invest far more into their trenches on both sides of the ball, first and foremost. If they can do that while retaining Higgins for a year, great.
But, the formula has said that you do not need to pay both of these guys on long-term deals. It simply won't happen. Financially, it makes more sense to let Higgins walk, invest money into the trenches and go get another wideout in the draft.
Paying Higgins an average of $20-$25 million annually isn't wise spending, and I think we all know that.
Burrow is good enough to win with Chase and a supporting cast. Higgins might be great, when healthy, but he definitely isn't a necessity.