Latest On Bengals WRs Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd

During their playoff runs over the past two seasons, the Bengals have often been credited with possessing the NFL’s best receiving trio. Yes’Marr Chase leads the unit, but his top two backup pass catchers have played an important role in the team’s success. However, their respective futures could go in opposite directions.

Tea Higgins self-developed into a highly prolific wideout, spending a year in Cincinnati before Chase’s arrival and two years after. As a rookie, Higgins totaled 908 yards and six touchdowns on 67 catches. The Bengals’ addition of Chase raised questions about Higgins’ workload to a degree, but the Clemson product has posted nearly identical stats over the past two seasons with 74 receptions, 1,000+ yards and at least six points in each campaign.

Higgins, 24, is now eligible for an extension. A key member of the Bengals’ young core, he’s considered one of the team’s top offseason priorities (despite striking a mega deal with the quarterback Joe Burrow heads this list). The former runner-up would be in line for a hefty pay rise under a new pact, given not only his performance but also his age and position. The receiver market erupted in the last off-season and will likely continue to do so as the cap is set to rise significantly in the future.

Discussing his future, Higgins made his intentions clear. Specifically, he said, “I plan to be in Cincinnati for a while” (Twitter shortcut via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network). He’s on the books for the 2023 season, the final year of his rookie contract, but would be a logical extension candidate to stay in place alongside Burrow and Chase as the foundation of the Bengals’ offense. Things could be very different for the third member of the WR trio from Cincinnati.

Tyler Boyd was a constant compliment in the Burrow era, but the presence of Higgins and Chase had an unsurprising effect on the veteran’s workload. Boyd has seen his goal and reception totals fall in each of the last three seasons. His 762 yards last season was the fewest since 2017, and he expects to continue playing a smaller role in the team’s passing offense.

The 28-year-old is aware of his status as a cut candidate. Boyd is under contract for another year with a $10.3 million cap, but without guaranteed money on his pact, the Bengals would see just under $9 million in savings on a release. He recently conceded the possibility that his tenure in Bengal is coming to an end, albeit in an upbeat tone.

“We’ll see what they want to do with me, but I know I’ve got a year left,” Boyd said of ESPN’s Ben Baby. “I’m not counting my chances of not being out here. You never know.”

The Bengals are currently in better form than most teams as far as cap space goes, but several overtimes with recently drafted players need to be budgeted for. Whether or not their acclaimed welcoming trio stays intact for another year will be worth watching as the off-season begins to take shape.


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