5 Tee Higgins replacements for Joe Burrow's Bengals ahead of crunch 2024 decision
Tee Higgins is potentially on the verge of becoming a free agent for the first time in his career. His rookie contract with the Cincinnati Bengals is set to expire after the 2023 NFL season and no extension has been agreed upon yet. With the Bengals in a challenging financial situation, it may not be coming.
The franchise understandably locked up Joe Burrow to a record-breaking contract last offseason, which now accounts for a large chunk of their salary cap moving forward. They are also expected to offer an extension to young superstar Ja'Marr Chase at some point before his potential free agency next year. His is also projected to be another record-setting deal.
With so much money likely invested in Burrow and Chase, it seems like Higgins could be the odd man out. This is especially true considering he plays the same position as Chase, making it unlikely they will hand out two mega-contracts to wide receivers. This would severely limit their roster flexibility and most likely leave them weak in other areas.
Further complicating the Bengals' situation for the upcoming offseason is that veteran Tyler Boyd is also scheduled to become a free agent, so they will likely be in the market for wide receivers this year. They will have opportunities to find potential replacements for Tee Higgins in free agency, the trade market, and the 2024 NFL draft, including these five options.
Tee Higgins replacements for Bengals in 2024
#1, Rome Odunze
With the Bengals expected to have a mid-first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft, it's unlikely they will get the opportunity to select prized wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
Washington Huskies star Rome Odunze might be the next best thing. Similar to Tee Higgins, he is a big-bodied wide receiver with plenty of speed. He is 6-foot-3 and weighs 220 pounds, but reportedly still runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.
#2, Jerry Jeudy
Many rumors have been swirling since the offseason last year that Jerry Jeudy could be on the trade block. Many believed that the Denver Broncos would deal him at the trade deadline, but they may choose to do so next offseason.
If they shop him around, he makes for an ideal replacement for Tee Higgins and he is still on an affordable rookie contract. Jeudy has struggled a bit early in his career, but maybe Joe Burrow could unlock his potential.
#3, Gabe Davis
The Bengals are likely seeking an affordable high-upside WR2 to play next to Ja'Marr Chase. Gabe Davis profiles exactly as that. He already has experience playing across from a superstar wide receiver in Stefon Diggs and will likely be significantly cheaper than Higgins. The transition seems to be ideal if the Buffalo Bills pass on extending Davis.
#4, Marquise Brown
It's unclear what the Arizona Cardinals' plans are for the 2024 NFL offseason. They could be headed for a rebuilding phase, but that likely depends on how the rest of this season plays out for them.
Marquise Brown is scheduled to become a free agent this year, and even if the Cardinals want to extend, he may be seeking to play for more of a contending team. When Joe Burrow comes back, the Bengals qualify as exactly that.
#5, Emeka Egbuka
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been extremely successful in producing NFL wide receivers. In the past two years alone, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba have all flashed superstar potential with their NFL teams.
Marvin Harrison Jr. is getting all of the hype this year, and deservedly so, but Emeka Egbuka could add another name to their impressive list. He should also be available when the Bengals are on the clock if they are looking for a Tee Higgins replacement.