In watching the KC/Baltimore game, it occurred to me that KC has given Cincinnati the blueprint for the future. KC was all offense in its 1st three trips to the AFC Championship game and two SBs. Yes they had some DL and some vets in the secondary, but it was Mahomes, Hill and Kelsey that carried the team.
KC traded Tyreek Hill in 2022 to Miami for 5 picks (2022's 1, 2 and 4) and (2023's 4 and 6). Most thought at the time it was a mistake and left Mahomes with no WRs. All Mahomes has done is win the SB and make and maybe win another. Mahomes did it with a 34-35 year old Kelce and a bunch of no names WRs.
The Bengals have their "Kelce" in JaMarr Chase. They also have plenty of no-names that look somewhat promising (Jones and Iosivas). I am also certain TI will not cost a lot of money to retain.
With all that as background, why not follow the KC model? Do a sign and trade on Higgins. Tee could fetch a 2nd or even possibly a 1st. Arizona needs WRs and has two 1st round picks and a late round 1st at 27. Tennessee has an early 2nd (38) and Washington has two early 2nds (36 and 40). The Packers and NYG both have two 2nd round picks and could use a top WR. Tee could also be used to upgrade our first round pick. The Bengals can take a page out of the Bills move up strategy from a few years ago trading our 1st and Tee to move up in the first. Tennessee (7th), Chicago (9th) and the Jets (10th) could all use a top WR. Kiper has all of the best OTs on the board at 7 and there could be a certain TE available at those picks. If your a team that thinks the OTs are pretty similar, you get Tee and an OT at 18.
The other upside to trading Tee is it frees up $21mm of cap space. Eight of the top ten free agents are defense. Jones DL, Allen DL, Burns DL, Madubuike DT, Wilkins DT, Winfield S, Johnson CB and Sneed DB. DJ Reader is also available. If the Bengals got Madubuike and another defensive hole filled plus a draft pick, that could solve a lot of issues on defense. The Bengals use draft capital on a deep OL draft pool, plus a WR, TE and shoring up other parts of the DL/OL.