Trade Tee Higgins Or Not?

Duke Tobin says Bengals 'want Tee Higgins back' but 'we'll see what happens'

There's been much discussion about the merit of trading or keeping Tee Higgins. In a perfect world, yes, we would all like to see Tee stay but at what cost. It doesn't look like the Bengals are going to be able to sign Tee long term. If it was possible, you'd have to think it would have been done by now.

That leaves the Bengals 3 options. Let Tee become a free agent in March, franchise tag Tee for the 2024 season or tag Tee and trade him. The first option is the worst. With 60 million in cap space the Bengals will be active in free agency this year negating any potential compensatory pick for Tee. It seem crazy to let Tee walk without compensation so a tag and trade seems like the best option.

The next question to be answered is what's Tee worth in a trade that the Bengals might be willing to accept? Let's look at the two most recent trades for top end receivers. In 2022 there were two trades that you could argue set the market. AJ Brown was traded from the Titians to the Eagles for the 18th pick ( 900 points on the trade chart) and the 86th pick (160 points on the trade chart). Total 1060 points equivalent to the 15th over all pick. Marquise Brown was traded from the Ravens to the Cardinals for the 23rd pick (760 points on the trade chart and the 100th pick (100 points on the trade chart) Total 860 points equivalent to the 20th over all pick.

It appears that the total compensation should be equivalent to the 15th to 20th pick overall. Is there a potential trade partner in that area? It doesn't look like it. Some factors working against it is the availability of draft able Wide Outs in round 1 who'll come at a much cheaper price. I've identified two potential trade partners, the Cardinals and the Panthers. The Cardinals would have to trade the 27th pick and the 90th pick for a total of 820 trade points short of the compensation for in the trades for AJ and Marquise. Another partner could be the Panthers who called the Bengals at the trade deadline for a deal for Tee. In the case of the Panthers the 33rd pick and 65th pick for a total of 845 points.

Here is a mock draft of what the draft could look like based on the trades with the Cards getting pick 27 and 90.

18. RT Taliese Fuaga The best RT in the draft. Great independent hand usage and awareness at the second level.

27. DT Byron Murphy 6'1" 301 PFF Grade 91.5 two gapped at Texas. Should excel as a 3T penetrator.

49. DT T Vondre Sweat 6'4" 365 91.7 PFF Grade Everyone's favorite NT needs to lose weight to increase stamina.

80. S Javon Bullard 5'11" 195 82.5 PPF Grade 88.4 coverage. Allows Hill to move to slot CB.

90. G Cooper Beebe 6'4" 335 83.9 PPF Grade 90.4 in pass pro. Unathletic guard who gets the job done. Tough

115. TE Cade Stover 6'4" 245 PPF Grade 75.6 Solid prospect- Need to improve run blocking.

161. CB Kamal Hadden 6'1' 197 PPF Grade 85.7 90.4 coverage grade. OB's had a 7 passer rating against him.

164.TE Ben Sinnott 6'4" 245 82 PPF Grade May very well be better than Stover.

178. WR DE'corian Clark 6'3" 215 Didn't play this year. Watch his tape a poor mans Tee Higgins

218. WR Hayden Hatten 6'2" 205 PPF Grade 90 25 TD's the last two seasons and 1200 yards per year with a bad QB.

Sleeper who can catch

252. RB Carson Steele 6'1" 225 76.5 PPF Grade. Jr year 1500 yards and an 87.7 rushing Grade

My Bengals Mock Draft

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.