Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns marks the final game of the 2023 season for the Cincinnati Bengals. It also could mark the end of Tee Higgins' and Tyler Boyd's time with the organization.
When the Bengals drafted Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick in 2021, it raised a lot of eyebrows, as the team already had Boyd and Higgins on offense. Of course, we saw how this panned out, as the three guys balled out and gave Joe Burrow a plethora of weapons to throw to.
Now, however, Boyd and Higgins will both hit free agency this spring. Boyd was extended once before by Cincinnati in 2019 but he's 29 years old and the Bengals have a lot of needs to fill this spring. That could leave him on the outside looking in.
As for Higgins, he was a second-round pick in 2020 but now has one game remaining on his rookie contract. The Bengals could franchise tag him but that'd be a lot of money to pay a WR2 when they already gave a ton of money to Burrow and likely will to Chase this spring. Higgins has also battled a variety of injuries this season and that could be another reason Cincinnati lets him walk in the offseason.
Ja'Marr Chase, who is eligible for an extension this offseason, was asked about what the future could hold for him and his fellow receivers
Chase's response to Higgins potentially getting an extension didn't seem the most optimistic. He says "could" and "may try" and we all know that if Higgins felt sure he'd work something out to stay in Cincinnati that Chase wouldn't hold back from saying so.
The Cincinnati Bengals had something special with its receiving corp these past three years but unfortunately, this group wasn't able to win a Super Bowl though they came close in the 2021 season. Perhaps all three end up sticking around for 2024 (doubtful) but even if they don't, this will always be viewed as a special group.