NFL Rumors: Bengals get optimistic free agency outlook from Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is cautiously optimistic that wide receiver Tee Higgins will return to the team in 2024.

Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

Heading into the 2023 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals had one of the best receiver tandems in the NFL between Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. With both receivers in need of contract extensions, the two may be forced to split up if they both want to maximize their value, but franchise quarterback Joe Burrow painted an optimistic picture about retaining both players.

Chase will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason with one year remaining on his rookie deal while Higgins is set to be an unrestricted free agent. However, after signing Burrow to a five-year, $275 million contract extension, the Bengals may be hard-pressed to give two wide receivers lucrative contracts. 

Joe Burrow feels confident Tee Higgins will return in 2024

While sitting down for his first press conference since suffering a season-ending wrist injury back in November, Burrow discussed his thoughts on Higgins’ pending free agency: “Everybody’s expectation is Tee [Higgins] is going to be back...I’d love to have Tee back, and I know he wants to be back."

Selected with the No. 33 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Higgins’ 6-foot-4 frame has enabled him to become one of the premiere X receivers in the NFL. In his first three seasons as a pro, Higgins has had at least 67 receptions, 908 yards, and six receiving touchdowns. 

Alas, the streak was derailed in 2023 as Higgins’ season was cut short due to injury. Injuries to his ribs and hamstring forced him to miss five games this season, limiting him to 42 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns. 

Whether or not Higgins played his last game as a member of the Bengals, it is clear that Burrow wants him back in 2024 and beyond. Turning 25 this month, Higgins should have no shortage of suitors and command a massive market this offseason.

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