Report on Steelers’ ‘Internal Discussions’ to Acquire Rival’s WR Turns Heads

Mike Tomlin Tee Higgins

Getty 93.7 The Fan's Andrew Fillipponi reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers have had "internal discussion" about trading for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could still use a significant addition at wide receiver. With that the case, the Steelers aren’t leaving any potential acquisition undiscussed, including a very unlikely scenario — a trade for Cincinnati Bengals wideout Tee Higgins.

93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi reported on April 12 that the Steelers have had “internal discussions” about acquiring Higgins through a trade from the team’s AFC North rival.

“They love the player,” Fillipponi wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “But there’s questions about acquisition cost and his next contract cost.

“Plus there’s the issue of the Bengals trading him in the AFC North.”

Fillipponi’s report garnered quite the reaction from his followers and even another member of Steelers media.

“I mean any good front office would have some kind of internal discussions about a good WR who may be on the trade market,” wrote The Score’s Daniel Valente on X. “They’ve probably had tons of internal discussions about players who might be available.”

Other X users further doubted the likelihood of a Steelers-Higgins trade happening.

“Not happening lol,” wrote Alex.

One fan sarcastically poked fun at Fillipponi’s report.

“Sources: I’ve had internal discussions about purchasing a Lamborghini,” wrote The Angry Yinzer. “I love the car. But there’s concern about the acquisition cost, and its maintenance cost. Plus there’s the issue of a dealership selling me one.”

Higgins could be available through a trade because he was set to be a free agent this offseason. The Bengals placed the franchise tag on him.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins Available in a Trade?

With the franchise tag, the Bengals have until July 15 to sign Higgins to a long-term deal. If that doesn’t happen, Higgins will essentially be forced to sign his tender, which will pay him $21.816 million for the 2024 season.

If the Bengals do not find it realistic to sign Higgins long term, they could move on from the receiver this offseason through a trade. However, that’s unlikely for a couple reasons.

For one, veteran receivers haven’t yielded much in trades this offseason. If the Bengals lose Higgins in NFL free agency next year, they will earn a 2026 third-round compensatory pick. So, it simply doesn’t make sense for the Bengals to give away Higgins.

Furthermore, the Bengals have already lost fellow veteran receiver Tyler Boyd to NFL free agency. It’s unlikely they will accept departing with the team’s No. 2 wideout at the same time.

The Bengals signing Higgins to a long-term deal is far from a guarantee. Cincinnati already has a lot of money locked into quarterback Joe Burrow, and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase needs a new deal too.

But the Bengals keeping Higgins through at least this season makes the most sense.

Steelers Predicted to Sign Higgins in 2025 NFL Free Agency

If the Bengals do decide to trade Higgins, it’s highly improbable that they will accept an offer from the Steelers. But if Higgins reaches free agency next year, the Steelers could have a much better chance of acquiring the receiver.

In fact, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport predicted the Steelers to sign Higgins to a 4-year contract worth $99.7 million during 2025 NFL free agency.

It’s very early to be making projections for next year’s free agency class. But the Steelers need another elite wide receiver after trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

If they don’t find one through the 2024 NFL draft, the Steelers could very well be prepared to make a receiver splash next March.

As of April 12, George Pickens is the only receiver the Steelers have on their roster who had more than 209 receiving yards last season.

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