Bengals Face Trade Request From $81 Million Defensive End: Report

Trey Hendrickson

Getty Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson.

The Cincinnati Bengals have multiple star players asking for trades, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, including defensive end Trey Hendrickson, a first-team All-Pro in 2023.

“Bengals three-time Pro-Bowl DE Trey Hendrickson has requested to be traded from Cincinnati, per league source,” Schefter tweeted on April 24, moments before he reported star wide receiver Tee Higgins was also requesting a trade. “Hendrickson is due to make $15 million this season and is looking for more long-term security than Cincinnati has been willing to offer.”

Hendrickson signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the Bengals in 2021 and received a one-year, $21 million contract extension in July 2023 that keeps him under contract with the franchise through 2025.

Hendrickson had a career-high 17.5 sacks in 2023 and was named first-team NFL All-Pro. He also had career highs for tackles (43) and forced fumbles (3).

Tee Higgins Was Franchise Tagged in February

Schefter wasn’t done breaking news with the Hendrickson trade request — just two minutes after his post on Hendrickson, he reported that Higgins had also requested a trade.

“Bengals franchise WR Tee Higgins also has requested to be traded being that there have been no contract talks with the team now in over a year,” Schefter posted on X.

While the news about Hendrickson may have come as a surprise, this isn’t the first time Higgins has asked out of Cincinnati.

The Bengals placed the franchise tag on Higgins in February 2024, which would pay him $21.8 million in 2024. Higgins wanted a trade following the move, according to March 11 report by Schefter, but appeared to reverse course on April 14.

“I do anticipate (playing for the Bengals in 2024),” Higgins told reporters. “I’ve grown a love for Cincy that I didn’t think I would. Looking forward to it.”

Bengals Want Both Players in Fold in 2024

The Bengals look at Hendrickson and Higgins as fundamental pieces to making it back to the top of the mountain in the AFC in 2024. Hendrickson has 39.5 sacks over his last three seasons with Cincinnati and has made the Pro Bowl each of his three seasons.

In the Bengals’ run to an AFC championship in 2021, Hendrickson had 3.5 sacks in four postseason games. The Bengals responded to Hendrickson’s request within an hour of his initial report.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has already come out and said he expects Higgins to be on the field for the team in 2024.

Higgins had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2021 and 2022 before seeing his numbers fall to 42 receptions for 656 receiving yards in 2023 as he missed five games due to injuries.

He also has 24 career touchdown receptions and had 4 receptions for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.

“We’re excited for Tee to have a great year for us” Taylor told The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway on March 28. “We think he’s our best chance to help us win a Super Bowl. I’ve enjoyed working with Tee the last four years, I expect this year to be no different.”

Read More