We’ve reached the rampant hypothesis a part of the NFL offseason. With two weeks till we get to observe one other soccer recreation, and the overwhelming majority of groups and fanbases starting to consider the draft and free company, rumors swirl about who could be accessible and what groups may very well be trying to make an enormous transfer. After a shocking 2022 season, the New York Giants usually are not immune from that kind of optimistic hypothesis.
A playoff start and upset win over the Vikings have solely given the fanbase a style of the success that they lengthy for. It’s additionally sped up the timeline for a rebuild because the staff now must discover a strategy to stay a fixture within the playoffs. With a view to do this, basic supervisor Joe Schoen might have to take an enormous swing within the offseason, and what greater swing than a commerce for Cincinnati Bengals large receiver Tee Higgins?
On this article, I’ll have a look at whether or not or not a commerce for the 24-year-old large receiver can be possible and, if that’s the case, why the Giants can be clever to pursue it aggressively.
Why Would the Bengals Trade Tee Higgins?
Let’s simply begin with the apparent: the Bengals don’t need to commerce Higgins. No person needs to commerce a 24-year-old coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, who can do that:
What a JUMP from Tee Higgins for the landing.
This recreation is tied. #AFCChampionship
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) January 30, 2023
Nonetheless, as Schoen mentioned in his postseason press convention, “There’s a business side to it. There’s rules that you need to operate under in terms of the salary cap.” These guidelines might trigger the Bengals to at the least entertain the opportunity of shifting Tee Higgins this offseason.
According to Over the Cap, the Bengals have $43.7 million in cap house getting into this offseason. With Higgins getting into the ultimate 12 months of his contract in 2023, the staff will possible have to discover signing him to an extension. In keeping with Spotrac, the wide receiver’s market value is $20.1 million per season, that’s a steep improve from the $2.99 million he’s set to make subsequent 12 months.
When you might have a look at the Bengals’ cap house and say that they’ve the room to signal Higgins to that kind of deal, you additionally need to consider that quarterback Joe Burrow may also be on the final 12 months of his rookie contract subsequent 12 months as effectively. Now, the Bengals may additionally choose up Burrow’s Fifth-year choice for 2024 and kick the can down the proverbial highway on signing their franchise participant to an extension however that appears unlikely.
Groups are inclined to lock up their star gamers once they get an opportunity, because the Buffalo Payments did with Josh Allen earlier than his Fifth-year choice was picked up. Since Burrow is eligible to signal his second contract this summer time, the clock has begun ticking, which is what Bengals head coach Zac Taylor admitted on Monday in his postseason press convention.
“Yeah, I think that starts now internally,” he said when requested about Burrow being eligible for an extension. “And so, again, I just wrapped up with the team today. And as you go forward, you get a chance to start talking about Joe and all the other players who are up.”
Spotrac has Burrow’s market value at $44 million per season, which might be barely greater than Josh Allen’s six-year contract with Buffalo that pays him $258,034,000 or $43 million per season. It will be real looking to imagine that Burrow would get near $47 million per season, which would put him ahead of Kyler Murray as the second-highest-paid quarterback based on average annual value.
Whenever you begin to consider a quantity that top, you possibly can see the place the Bengals’ cap house state of affairs might look completely different.
Particularly since Ja’Marr Chase may also be eligible for an extension in 2025. Since Spotrac puts his market value at $25.4 million per season, the Bengals may have virtually $75 million tied up in two gamers as early as two years from now. That’s with out even factoring on this 12 months’s unrestricted free brokers like Jessie Bates III, Von Bell, Hayden Hurst, Samaje Perine, and Germaine Pratt.
The Bengals may attempt to signal Higgins to a three-year deal just like the Seahawks did with DK Metcalf after which push again the extension for Ja’Marr Chase till Higgins’ new contract expires, however any delay in signing Burrow and Chase is a danger that they could get annoyed or look to signal a profitable deal elsewhere.
Cincinnati received’t WANT to commerce away Tee Higgins whereas they’re in a Tremendous Bowl window, however, realistically, their Tremendous Bowl window will final so long as Burrow and Chase are round, so dealing Higgins for a low-cost controllable asset doesn’t essentially dampen their Tremendous Bowl aspirations.
Particularly in the event that they get a deal they’ll’t refuse, which the Giants would wish to supply.
Why Would the Giants Need Tee Higgins?
With a view to pry Higgins away from the Bengals, the Giants would wish to supply this 12 months’s first-round choose and sure a 3rd or fourth-round choose as effectively.
One current instance we’ve seen of this kind of commerce was when Buffalo traded for Stefon Diggs. Since Schoen was in Buffalo’s entrance workplace on the time of the deal, it’s a helpful comparability. On the time, the Buffalo Payments acquired Diggs and a 2020 seventh-round choose in alternate for a 2020 first-round choose (No. 22 general), a 2020 fifth-round choose, a 2020 sixth-round choose, and a 2021 fourth-round choose.
Final 12 months, the Eagles despatched a 2022 first-round choose (18th general) and a 2022 third-round choose (one hundred and first general) to the Titans in alternate for large receiver AJ Brown.
If New York have been to supply an analogous haul of picks to Cincinnati, together with this 12 months’s twenty fifth general alternative, it may very well be tempting. Cincinnati may use that choose or their very own picks within the first or second spherical to draft a younger large receiver who would have 5 years of a cost-controllable contract and have greater than sufficient cash to increase Burrow and Chase and re-tool the offensive line.
However why would the Giants need to do this?
Nicely, for starters, Higgins is a large receiver one. I do know he doesn’t have the numbers to show it as a result of he battled harm and shared time with Chase, however Higgins is elite. He leads the NFL in contested catches since 2020, has an amazing catch radius on his 6’4″ body, and is one the higher general route-runners within the league.
If you’d like a security valve for Daniel Jones, you’re not going to discover a higher one. He would instantly makes the Giants a extra intimidating offense and, if paired with Saquon Barkley, may give Brian Daboll two elite weapons to maintain defenses sincere.
Since the perfect free agent large receiver this 12 months is both Allen Lazard, DJ Chark, or JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s possible that New York’s quest for a real primary receiver would both want to return by way of commerce or the draft. Nonetheless, counting on a rookie large receiver picked at twenty fifth general to be a difference-maker for a playoff staff is a tall job.
Will the Trade Occur?
I imply, it’s referred to as a pipe dream as a result of it’s simply that. I do assume the Bengals will entertain presents for Higgins, however I feel there’s likelihood he agrees to take a short-term deal to stick with Burrow and Chase for just a few extra years.
I’m additionally not satisfied Joe Schoen believes he must mortgage the long run for a number-one large receiver. At his end-of-season press convention, he mentioned, “I know a number one wide receiver can be important, but there’s some number one wide receivers that are home right now. You can go through this past weekend; you can go through a couple of weekends ago in the playoffs. A number one receiver doesn’t guarantee you anything.”
“I think it’s important that we continue to build the team,” he added. “There’s multiple positions where we want to upgrade throughout the offseason. So, yeah, I’d love to have a number-one wide receiver, but we’ve got to place value on everything we do, and if it makes sense, that’s something we’ll look to do.”
That doesn’t sound like someone keen to make an enormous splash on a commerce for a large receiver. Nonetheless, relying on how contract negotiations go along with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, the Giants might discover themselves with further money or motivation to make a play for a big-play weapon.