Bengals coach Zac Taylor on franchise-tagged Tee Higgins: He's our 'best chance to help us win a Super Bowl'

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders

The Cincinnati Bengals expect to have Tee Higgins on their roster next year, even if it seems unlikely at the moment after Higgins requested a trade earlier this offseason. Head coach Zac Taylor said as much during the AFC coaches breakfast at the 2024 NFL Annual Meeting.

“We’re excited for Tee to have a great year for us,” Taylor said, per Pro Football Network.

And why? “We think he’s our best chance to help us win a Super Bowl,” Taylor continued. “I’ve enjoyed working with Tee the last four years and expect this year to be no different.”

The 25-year-old Higgins has been one of the NFL’s best No. 2 wide receivers over the past few years, collecting 190 catches for 2,776 yards and 18 scores across his 42 games from 2021 through 2023. And when Ja’Marr Chase has been out for games here and there, Higgins has typically shown the ability to be No. 1-caliber receiver as well.

Higgins has been looking for a contract extension that makes him one of the league’s highest-paid wideouts, but the Bengals have thus far been reluctant to go into that range. With Joe Burrow having already extended at the top of the quarterback market and Chase waiting in the wings for a contract that will likely be among the largest ever for a wide receiver, it’s clear that Cincinnati doesn’t think it can afford to pay Higgins as well.

But the Bengals are also a Super Bowl contender, and not having Higgins along for the ride this season would be deleterious to the effort to win the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. That said, if the Bengals get a suitable trade offer that also allows them to replace Higgins, they’d probably be wise to take it so they can have that No. 2 receiver position locked down for the long term, rather than just one year.

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