Zac Taylor drops major hint about Tee Higgins’ future with Bengals

Taylor sounds like a coach who expects to have his star receiver back next season.
Carolina Panthers v Cincinnati Bengals
Carolina Panthers v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

If the Cincinnati Bengals plan to trade Tee Higgins over the offseason, Zac Taylor has done a good job of masking the team's intentions.

While speaking with media members at the NFL's annual meeting, Taylor sure sounded like a coach who expected to have Higgins as part of the playbook next season, despite the fact that the star receiver requested a trade away from the Bengals at the onset of free agency after failing to reach an agreement on a long-term extension.

The Bengals aren't obligated to trade Higgins as he's still under team control for the 2024 season via the franchise tag, and Taylor seems to be operating under the impression that Higgins will be continuing his career in Cincinnati.

“We’re excited for Tee to have a great year for us,” Taylor said. “We think he’s our best chance to help us win a Super Bowl. . . . I’ve enjoyed working with Tee the last four years and expect this year to be no different.”

Taylor could be bluffing, or perhaps he really does expect Higgins to be back in black-and-orange next season. We'll find out the truth in the coming months.

Bengals willing to listen to offers?

A recent report suggested that the Bengals were at least willing to entertain offers for Higgins, though that certainly doesn't mean that a deal will actually come to fruition.

Keep an eye on the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft when it comes to a Higgins trade. The Bengals would want to execute a deal prior to draft day if they wanted to get back draft capital for this year as part of a return package.

And even if they don't execute a deal prior to their draft, their strategy when it comes to drafting receivers could be telling. If they draft a receiver in the first couple of rounds, it could potentially indicate that they're willing to move on from Higgins. The next couple of months in Cincinnati will be interesting.