Wild Trade Proposal Could Solve Bengals’ Offensive Woes

Tee Higgins

Getty Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

It’s no secret the Cincinnati Bengals have problems that need to be solved at wide receiver. Solutions could come sooner than expected.

One of those problems could be solved in one fell swoop thanks to a wild trade proposal from Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay. In that scenario, the Bengals would send disgruntled wide receiver Tee Higgins and the No. 18 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft to the Tennessee Titans for the No. 7 overall pick.

“If Higgins’ market ends up being hot, the Bengals could make a big jump up the board on draft night,” Kay wrote. “Parlaying the receiver and the No. 18 overall pick into the No. 7 pick could set Cincinnati up for sustained success in the future.”

Mainly, it would let the Bengals do what they’ve done so well the last few years — draft an elite wide receiver and get big production out of them on a rookie contract.

Where Do Bengals Sit Now at Wide Receiver?

The Bengals are coming off what was essentially a lost season in 2023 after $275 million quarterback Joe Burrow missed the last seven games of the year with a wrist injury and the Bengals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

Now, Burrow’s two favorite targets during his time in Cincinnati are both in flux. NFL All-Pro wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is looking for a mega-deal that could make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

Higgins, who has two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the last four years, was designated with a franchise tag which would pay him a guaranteed $21.86 million in 2024. Higgins made a total of $10.1 million through his first four seasons and has requested a trade.

“Tee has done an outstanding job for us since we drafted him in 2020,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after Higgins was given the franchise tag on Feb. 26. “I’m glad that he’ll continue to be a big part of our offense and our team.”

Elite Wide Receivers Could Be Available at No. 7 Pick

Sending Higgins to the Titans would almost certainly mean the Bengals would take a wide receiver at No. 7 overall. Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. is the top-rated wide receiver in the latest prospect position rankings from ESPN’s Field Yates and the No. 3 overall prospect.

While Harrison Jr. would likely be off the board at the No. 7 pick, LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze aren’t far behind in Yates’ rankings, with Nabers as the No. 4 overall and Odunze at No. 6, and one or both would still likely be available.

The latest mock draft from The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner has the Titans predicted to take Odunze.

“That (trade) would put Cincinnati well within striking distance to land an elite replacement for Higgins,” Kay wrote. “At No. 7, the team would almost be guaranteed one of Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers, the consensus top three

Nabers and Odunze both put up big numbers in 2023. Nabers had 89 receptions for 1,569 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on the way to being named a unanimous Associated Press All-American.

Odunze had 81 receptions for 1,428 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on the way to being named consensus AP All-American and leading the Huskies to a national runner-up finish.

Read More