In doing so, the Zac Taylor coaching tree has sprouted its first branch. I think I can speak for all Bengals fans when I say congratulations to the new Titans coach.
I also think I speak for Bengals fans when I say, ‘Go find your own players!’
Specifically, wide receiver Tee Higgins is entering free agency after he and the team failed to reach a long-term deal this past offseason. Of course, the Bengals could use their franchise tag on Higgins, keeping him in Cincinnati for one final season before leaves for good, but that’s not a 100% guarantee.
If he doesn’t get tagged, he will be playing elsewhere in 2023, and the Titans seem like a logical fit. Higgins would immediately become their No. 1 wide receiver, and he gets the benefit of no longer playing in Ja’Marr Chase’s shadow. Think Marvin Jones wanting to get out of AJ Green’s shadow, only, you know... it’s Higgins.
There’s also the off chance the Bengals could tag Higgins and then trade him. There’s a precedent of a former Bengals coach going to another team and then making a trade for a Bengals player. Kind of.
Remember when Carson Palmer demanded a trade and was eventually sent to the Raiders for two first-round picks? It was former Bengals assistant coach Hue Jackson who helped orchestrate that trade. That was one of his first acts as the Raiders head coach, and probably the first move of many that led to his firing. But it sure did work out for the Bengals!
Now, I’m not suggesting that Higgins is forcing his way out or that the Bengals could get two first-round picks for him if a trade is worked out between the Bengals and Titans, but maybe Callihan will hook the Bengals up the way Jackson did.