The NY Jets are expected to be heavily involved in the wide receiver market this season, with a number of high-profile names potentially available. You could possibly add Cincinnati Bengals star Tee Higgins to that growing list.
Cincinnati.com's Kelsey Conway reported on Friday that Higgins is "not believed to be in the Bengals future plans" after the two sides were unable to come to terms on an extension.
The former second-round pick is slated to be a free agent at the end of the season, and with Joe Burrow's extension and an expected deal for Ja'Marr Chase incoming, the Bengals might not have the money to keep Higgins around.
The Bengals will have the option to place the franchise tag on Higgins next spring, although that could just be a precursor to a tag-and-trade deal. Higgins could be on the market sooner than later.
Could the NY Jets really trade for Tee Higgins?
Now, it should be said that Higgins is a rather unlikely midseason trade target. Barring a total collapse from the Bengals early in the season, it's much more likely that Cincinnati hangs onto their star wide receiver as they look to compete for a Super Bowl this year.
This is a different scenario than the ones involving players like Mike Evans, Marquise Brown, and even Davante Adams. The Bengals are expected to be competing for a Lombardi Trophy this season. They have no incentive to trade Higgins during the year.
But if the Jets are still looking for wide receiver help next offseason, Higgins seems like someone who could be available. The 24-year-old has posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and is one of the key pieces in the Bengals' explosive offense.
Higgins has recorded 215 catches for 3,028 yards and 19 touchdowns over his first three seasons in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Bengals, it's going to be hard to keep the band together, with Burrow and soon Chase making top dollar.
If the Jets are looking for a midseason trade target, Evans and Brown make a lot more sense. Higgins (and, to a lesser extent, Adams) feel more like offseason targets.
Still, the Jets have options. There should be a number of star wide receivers on the market in the next six months or so. Expect the team to heavily pursue at least one or two of these names.