Notable absences from Bengals OTAs include pair of star receivers

Some familiar faces were missing from the voluntary team activities.
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Notable absences for the Cincinnati Bengals voluntary OTAs include a pair of star wide receivers. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins were both absent from the team activities, as were Sheldon Rankins and Trent Brown.

It's important to remember that these activities are voluntary, so players don't have to be there, but it's still noteworthy when key contributors are no-shows. It's also somewhat odd that two new veteran additions in Rankins and Brown both decided against participating in the activities where they could get acclimated with their new teammates.

Higgins' no-show no surprise

When it comes to Higgins, it's not a big surprise that he didn't attend the voluntary activities, as his unhappiness with his current contract has been well-documented throughout the offseason.

The Bengals designated Higgins as a franchise player for the 2024 season, and then the receiver requested a trade away from Cincinnati at the onset of free agency due to the lack of a long-term contract. So far no progress has been made on an extension.

Higgins has yet to sign his franchise tender with the Bengals, and until he does, he won't be able to rejoin the team. When it comes to Higgins' future with the Bengals, there's one key date to circle on the calendar, and that's July 15. That's the deadline for Higgins and the Bengals to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. If no deal is reached by that date, Higgins could become eligible for free agency next offseason.

Similarly, Chase is also in line for a massive extension with Cincinnati that there has been no movement on. There's not necessarily a rush for Cincinnati to get a deal done with Chase, as he's still under contract for the 2024 season. So an extension could technically come this offseason or next. Still though, the lack of action is slightly surprising.

There's still a whole lot of offseason left, so it will be interesting to see how things progress with Chase and Higgins.