Tee Higgins is entering the final year of his rookie contract and that means the Cincinnati Bengals could opt to extend him this offseason. They could also decide to wait on the extension, let him play on the final year of his contract, and then tag and sign him next offseason.
Higgins was a second-round pick in 2020 and has been a massive weapon for the Bengals since he became a member of their offense. He had over 900 receiving yards during his rookie season and went over the 1,000-yard mark in years two and three.
Higgins would be a No. 1 wide receiver on most other teams but in Cincinnati, he's a No. 2 because of Ja'Marr Chase serving in the No. 1 role. This could be why it'd make sense for another team to want Higgins on their roster but the Bengals have to be able and willing to trade him.
Duke Tobin has made it known that he has no plans to trade Higgins. If the Bengals keep the former Clemson standout and pay him, what kind of contract could we expect Higgins to sign?
Tee Higgins contract projection
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report came up with a list of players who would reset the free agent market at their respective positions next offseason and Higgins made the list. He had Higgins earning a four-year deal worth $105 million.
"As much as the Bengals would benefit from keeping Higgins around, he may have to look elsewhere to get the money his play has truly earned. Spotrac estimates Higgins is worth $20.1 million annually, a cost that may be too great for Cincinnati to afford with an extension for Burrow imminent and Chase likely to command one as well before he hits the open market in 2026. With receiving talent set to be at a premium next year, Higgins could easily score a deal worth over $25 million per year."- Alex Kay
Jeff Howe of The Athletic compiled different quotes from NFL executives regarding the Bengals' cap situation, namely how they'd handle Higgins, and a lot of them said that the team should let Higgins walk and focus on extending Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase and not getting tied up in two receivers.
It'll be interesting to see what ends up happening with Tee Higgins and how much money he does end up getting whether it's from the Bengals or another team.