Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins did not report to the start of voluntary OTA’s

JaMarr Chase and Tee Higgins pic
JaMarr Chase and Tee Higgins pic

In 2023, the Cincinnati Bengals finished 9-8. They just narrowly missed out on a postseason appearance. Starting QB Joe Burrow missed the final seven games of the season. This offseason, the Bengals have lost two key offensive players, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon. Boyd signed with the Titans and Mixon is signed with the Texans. 

Additionally, Cincinnati has two other offensive players they need to find resolutions with. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins were not present for the start of Bengals OTA’s. Both players are seeking an extension. Chase’s situation is more clear than Higgins’s. When will the WRs show up to offseason practices?

Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins were absent for the start of Bengals voluntary OTA’s

For the Bengals, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are both seeking new contracts. However, the two players are in different situations. Let’s start with Chase. The three-time Pro Bowler was the 5th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase has been an incredible player for Cincinnati and he’s Joe Burrow’s #1 target. They were teammates together at LSU and that connection has translated to the NFL. With that being said, it’s safe to say that Chase is not going anywhere. He’ll get his contract extension at some point down the line.

Adam Schefter reported that Chase is going to receive a record-breaking contract when the time comes. Then there’s Tee Higgins. The 25-year-old was a 2nd round pick by the Bengals in 2020. Together, Ja’Marr Chase and Higgins have been an incredible one-two punch. However, it’s going to be extremely tough for the team to play both players with the types of contracts they want. Additionally, Higgins has had ongoing frustration with the team this offseason. He requested a trade from the Bengals, but the team did not oblige to that request.

The 2023 season was Tee Higgins’ final year of his rookie contract. Instead of signing him to a long-term deal, the team gave him a $22 million franchise tag for the 2024 season. That is not what Higgins is looking for and it’s part of why he requested a trade in the first place. Higgins believes he’s worth more than that. Will he play the 2024 season for Cincinnati and then try and find a new home for 2025? We’ll have to wait and see what will happen.

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