Clifton Brown Cincinnati Bengals: Will Next Contract for Tee Higgins Price Him Out?
Joe Burrow isn't the only key offensive player the Bengals will have contract discussions with this offseason.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins is not a free agent, but he's entering the final year of his rookie contract and will be seeking a long-term agreement. If the Higgins and Bengals are far apart when discussions begin, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic wrote that Cincinnati may consider trading Higgins this offseason.
"If the numbers are outrageous and it's clear the two sides won't see eye to eye, the Bengals could go the route taken by multiple teams in recent seasons and deal the receiver for a top draft pick and start the cycle over with a rookie receiver," Dehner wrote.
Cincinnati's abundance of offensive talent is about to become very expensive. The Bengals could make Burrow the NFL's highest-paid player this offseason, and Pro Bowl wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase will be in line for a huge deal in 2024 when he becomes eligible to sign an extension.
That could leave Higgins as the odd man out, and he'd be highly coveted on the trade market like other proven receivers who have been traded in recent years such as A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins. The 24-year-old Higgins has enjoyed back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, catching 74 passes in both 2021 and '22, with a career-high seven touchdowns in 2022.
Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd is also entering the final year of his contract, and Dehner wrote that it was possible the Bengals could cut Boyd to free up cap space to re-sign Higgins. According to Dehner, Cincinnati would save $8.9 million in cap space to by releasing Boyd.
"If that money would clear the way to extend Tee Higgins, for instance, then it could make sense for the future," Dehner wrote. "But Boyd has shown no signs of slowing down in his seventh year."
The fluid situation surrounding Higgins and Boyd makes the Bengals likely to draft a wide receiver in April, according to Dehner.
"I think you see Boyd stay and play out the final year of his contract before the team goes younger at the position," Dehner wrote. "But they will be looking for receivers in this draft to put next in line, no question."
Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett Dislocated Toe at Pro Bowl Games, X-Rays Were Negative
The new-look format at the Pro Bowl Games didn't keep All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett from avoiding injury.
The Browns confirmed that Garrett dislocated his toe on Sunday. X-Rays were negative, but Garrett will likely undergo further tests to determine the extent of the injury, via Mary Cay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Garrett suffered his injury participating in the "Gridiron Gauntlet" competition, racing Brian Burns of the Panthers in an obstacle course. When the race ended, Garrett limped away and eventually sat down in pain.
Garrett has time ample time to recover with the start of the regular season still months away.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Brian Flores Is Reportedly Finalist to Become Cardinals Head Coach
Steelers Senior Defensive Assistant Brian Flores is one of three finalists to become Arizona's next head coach, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. Flores worked in New England with Cardinals new General Manager Monti Ossenfort.
The other reported finalists in Arizona are Bengals Defensive Coordinator Lou Anarumo and Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka. Flores is expected to have his second interview on Wednesday.
Flores spent three seasons as head coach of the Dolphins (2019-21) before he was fired, despite posting a winning record his final two seasons and winning eight of his last nine games. Flores filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL last year that is still pending, and he joined Head Coach Mike Tomlin's staff in Pittsburgh last season.
Flores is also reportedly a candidate for the defensive coordinator positions in Denver and Minnesota.