This Bengals-Patriots Trade Sends Tee Higgins To New England

Tee Higgins, Patriots
NFL Analysis Network

The New England Patriots have already begun the process of upgrading their offense this offseason. No longer will Matt Patricia and Joe Judge be overseeing that unit as Bill O’Brien was brought back to become the team’s offensive coordinator.

Having O’Brien in the mix should help get Mac Jones, should he remain the team’s starting quarterback, back on track. Jones had a good rookie season under Josh McDaniels but things fell apart in Year 2. 

The coaching certainly played a part, but he should be held responsible for some of his performance as well as he just didn’t look good at times during the season. Injuries certainly played a part as he dealt with a high ankle sprain, but the lack of game-changing weapons around him also hurt.

Adding some help at wide receiver this offseason is a must for the Patriots. With Jakobi Meyers hitting free agency, there could be a huge void to fill at the position. Nelson Agholor is also hitting free agency and the team could look to move on from Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker.

Free agency won’t address the Patriots’ need for a legitimate No. 1 option to grow along with Jones, but the trade market could be fruitful. New England should make a call to the Cincinnati Bengals and see what it would cost to acquire Tee Higgins.

Higgins could be the best wide receiver available this season as the Bengals have some tough decisions to make. While he is the No. 2 option there behind Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins has No. 1 receiver talent. Can the Bengals afford to pay them both with a monster extension for Joe Burrow also looming?

The Bengals will do everything they can to keep that trio together, but if it proves too costly, they will have to explore other avenues. One could be trading Higgins, which should net them a solid return of assets.

The Patriots can use the trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans during the 2022 NFL Draft as a reference point. A.J. Brown was traded for a first and third-round pick and has very similar production as Higgins does during their careers. The only difference is Brown has proven over multiple seasons he is a No. 1 receiver; Higgins has only needed to do it when Chase was sidelined.

To hedge their bets a little bit, the Patriots can offer the Bengals second-round picks in 2023 and 2024. If the Bengals are dead set on acquiring a first-round pick in exchange for the Clemson product, New England should be more than willing to include their 2023 first-round pick to get a deal done.

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