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ESPN analyst believes Tee Higgins’ trade value is at least a first-round pick

Higgins has struggled this season but still holds a lofty valuation as the trade deadline approaches

Seattle Seahawks v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals should have no desire to trade Tee Higgins.

They could be a Super Bowl-contending team with him on the roster, but there is a chance that, unless they franchise tag him, he is too expensive to be kept as he enters free agency this offseason.

Keeping Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt around wasn’t cheap. Joe Burrow’s extension made him the highest-paid player in the league, and Ja’Marr Chase will still need to be paid as he’s going to be extension-eligible this upcoming offseason.

That said, Higgins could be the odd man out, and if the Bengals internally feel that way, then it would make sense to get some bang for your buck and look at what the trade market could return for the star.

Right now, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell believes Higgins could be worth a first-round pick. He went through every NFL team and labeled who is worth one, two, or multiple first-round picks. Burrow was worth multiple, and Chase was worth two, but they’re not leaving Cincinnati, so that’s not even worth discussing.

Here’s what Barnwell wrote on Higgins.

One first-round pick: WR Tee Higgins. Higgins is capable of taking over games, but it’s tougher to make a case that he’s a top-10 player at wide receiver than it is for someone like A.J. Brown. Higgins’ production is capped by Chase playing on the other side of the field, but it also likely leads to easier coverage looks and fewer double-teams. He is also a free agent after the season, so he’s about to get expensive. I still think he would land a first-rounder, but there’s a much bigger gap between Higgins and Chase’s trade value than it might seem.

Higgins fractured his ribs against the Titans in Week 4 and missed the Bengals’ Week 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals. This season has been a struggle for the former Clemson Tigers standout. He has three drops, which is tied for the second most in the NFL.

Higgins has had two straight 1,000-yard seasons but has just 14 receptions for 149 yards through five. With Chase continuing to blossom, the Bengals have seen some success offensively, but getting Higgins involved could be the necessary spark the offense needs.

For the Bengals' success as a team and Higgins’ success as a player, let’s hope the star figures it out in the coming weeks as they look to get firmly into the playoff hunt.