Tee Higgins update should force Patriots to call Bengals about a trade ASAP

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) catches a pass in the third quarter during an NFL
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) catches a pass in the third quarter during an NFL / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The hypothesized scenarios debating the Patriots' chances of trading for a top wide receiver this offseason continue to ramp up as the 2024 NFL Draft nears, especially as more rumors suggest their potential interest in trading out of the No. 3 spot.

Besides the proposed trade idea between the Patriots and Vikings, which involves Justin Jefferson, the other main player has been Tee Higgins, who would be part of a trade simply to add him to the offensive roster and not in a trade-down situation.

He had been the leading name before free agency even began, as he was the top receiver heading to free agency with the expectation to be New England's number one target. That didn't last long since the Bengals chose to franchise tag him, but new hope was on the horizon when Higgins publicly demanded a trade, citing a lack of negotiations surrounding a contract extension.

Since then, there was a hope the Patriots would inquire about his availability, regardless of Cincinnati's insistence that they had no plans to trade their former second-round pick. Nothing has been reported regarding any conversations had between the teams, but the Patriots may have gotten another sign to finally make the call.


Although it isn't coming directly from the team, all signs point to The 33rd Team's Ari Meirov's latest assessment of the Bengals/Higgins situation to be a strong possibility.

According to the insider, Higgins remains a top trade candidate heading into the draft primarily because he's unlikely to be paid by his current team. Since he made his public trade request, not a peep has been heard about any progress surrounding a contract extension, making it seem even more that the conversations aren't even being had or, at the very least, are at a stalemate.

No matter what the case might be, unless an announcement is made stating the team has reached an agreement on a new contract to keep Higgins for years to come, there's no reason for the Patriots to continue sitting on their hands and allowing other teams to potentially sneak in and trade for a receiver their offense could benefit from having.

New England's lack of persistence could mean they're more so considering a trade-down situation and, therefore, don't want to give up any draft capital beforehand. But that only makes sense if conversations have already been had with potential trade partners, which remain as just rumors at this point.

But if they want a near guarantee of adding a solid receiver to lead their offense, Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf need to be calling Cincinnati ASAP to see what it will take to get a deal done.

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