Patriots Trade Pitch Flips Picks & Fan-Favorite WR for Projected $100 Million Star

Patriots potential trade target Tee Higgins

Getty Patriots potential trade target Tee Higgins

It has been a few weeks, it seems, since someone has linked Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins to the Patriots with a fanciful trade. But have no fear, the good folks at Bleacher Report are there to provide another fix, this time in an article titled, “5 Trade Packages Bengals Would Have to Consider for Tee Higgins amid NFL OTAs.”

Of course, there is good reason why the Patriots and Higgins are continuously linked. The Patriots have improved the receiver room, but still do not have a true No. 1 option. Higgins wants a long-term deal that pays him like one of the league’s top receivers, but he’s franchise-tagged at $22 million.

The Patriots are still a mess offensively, but they have cap space available and could easily use it on Higgins if they can get him to Foxboro in a trade.

Higgins, for his part, has lodged a trade request already this offseason, only to see it wither, with the Bengals clearly not biting. That could change, though, once training camp gets rolling, especially if the Bengals give a major new contract extension to star receiver Ja’Marr Chase, a deal that would guarantee Higgins won’t get big bucks this year.

And so Maurice Moton of B/R suggested this deal framework …

Cincinnati Bengals receive: 2025 second-round pick, 2025 fourth-round pick and WR DeMario Douglas

New England Patriots receive: WR Tee Higgins

Tee Higgins Has Said He Wants a Trade

Trading Douglas would be a tough pill to swallow. The diminutive (5-foot-8) playmaker was one of the few offensive bright spots in his rookie season last year, showing deft move-making and speed when he hit the field. Affectionately known as “Pop,” Douglas led Patriots receivers in catches and receiving yards in 2023.

Higgins, meanwhile, remains a bit of an offseason mystery. He has sounded resigned to remaining with the Bengals, and Cincinnati has given no indication they want to move on from him in 2024. In fact, the Bengals see themselves as Super Bowl contenders next year, and though they recognize it might be impossible to hold onto Higgins beyond the coming season, they seem intent on getting the next year out of him.

“We’re excited for Tee to have a great year for us,” coach Zac Taylor said last month. “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.”

Spotrac projects Higgins’ market value at $19.7 million per season, in line for a five-year, $100 million deal. The Patriots would likely have to overpay to land Higgins, given how weak the team was offensively last year, and how much uncertainty it has at all the major positions.

Patriots Would Make Sense as a Destination

The Patriots could keep an eye on Higgins in 2025 free agency, especially if they still need a No. 1 target and still have ample cap space (they will). Higgins is 25 and played 12 games last season, missing four games with a fractured rib and another with a hamstring pull.

He caught 42 passes for 656 yards and five touchdowns, but was a 1,000-yard receiver in both 2022 and 2021.

The Patriots are an attractive destination for both Higgins and the Bengals. They should struggle next year, as veteran backup Jacoby Brissett and rookie Drake Maye vie for the starting role, ensuring their second-rounder is near to the back end of the first round.

As Moton wrote: “Whoever wins the Patriots’ battle for the starting quarterback position would have a reliable wideout in Higgins, who can provide an immediate spark for a mostly lackluster passing attack since Tom Brady’s departure in 2020.

“New England could add Demario Douglas to the deal. His trade value will likely drop going forward. Last season, he led the Pats wideouts in catches (49) and racked up a team-leading 561 receiving yards.”



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