One of the biggest looming questions regarding the 2024 NFL offseason has been answered. Many have wondered what exactly the Cincinnati Bengals will do with star wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins does not have a contract extension and could've become an unrestricted free agent if the Bengals did not franchise tag him. Well, they franchise-tagged him. It's a move the Bengals had to make; they couldn't risk losing him for nothing.

But just because the tagged him doesn't mean the former Clemson Tigers star wide receiver still can't find his way out of Cincinnati. He could signal that he doesn't want to play on the tag if he doesn't get an extension. If that's the case, it could serve the Bengals to trade him to avoid risking losing him for nothing again next year.

Luckily, if they go that route, there will be plenty of suitors who could pay up big to acquire Higgins. Three teams stand out as teams to do just that: the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans.

Tee Higgins to the Carolina Panthers?

There might not be a team that needs a star receiver more than the Carolina Panthers. They already had one but traded him (DJ Moore) to the Chicago Bears as part of the trade that saw them move up to the number one overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which they used to select Bryce Young.

Without Moore, they didn't surround Young with much help. Their leading receiver was 33-year-old Adam Thielen, who did put together a solid 1,000+ yard season. However, Thielen really lost steam after Carolina's bye week. 509 of Thielen's 1,014 yards came before Carolina's Week 7 bye week. Thielen's 1.66 yards per route run in 2023 wasn't all that spectacular either. That ranked 46th among wide receivers according to playerprofiler.com.

Unfortunately for Bryce Young, he didn't get a lot of help from just about anybody else in his receiver room. Young's receivers averaged just 1.9 yards of separation according to playerprofiler.com, which ranked 63rd among quarterbacks. His receivers also dropped 17 passes, which was 15th among quarterbacks.

Thielen was the only player in Carolina to eclipse 550 receiving yards in 2023. Tee Higgins would immediately walk in as the Panthers' number-one receiver and bring some type of organization to their offense. New head coach Dave Canales could use him the way he used Mike Evans last season in Tampa Bay as well. The fit and need are there in Carolina.

New York Giants

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) reacts after completing a catch in the fourth quarter during a Week 9 NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.
© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Another team that could use a No. 1 receiver is the New York Giants. They tried to find one in free agency with Kenny Golladay, but that move turned out to be a ginormous disaster. They then tried to make Darren Waller their de facto No. 1 receiver, but the Giants offense was battered all across the lineup which makes it hard to parse what exactly works and what doesn't because they just were never able to field a healthy squad.

Tee Higgins would also walk into New York's locker room and be their number one receiver. Players like Darius Slayton and Wan'Dale Robinson have shown promise, but neither are close to the player Higgins is. They should go heavy at Higgins if the opportunity presented itself.

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Tennessee Titans

The best fit for Tee Higgins might be the Tennessee Titans. The Titans also had a number one receiver on their roster only to trade him (AJ Brown) away. They traded Brown for a first-round pick that became Treylon Burks, but Burks has yet to get his NFL career on a strong foot. In 22 games, Burks has managed to rack up just 665 receiving yards and one touchdown.

The Titans did sign DeAndre Hopkins to be their top receiver, but he is about to turn 32 years old as Tennessee embarks on a rebuild. He's not expected to stay for long in Tennessee uniform. Tee Higgins (25) could be there long-term and has familiarity with Tennessee's new coaching staff. The Titans hired former Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to be their head coach. Higgins has thrived under Callahan and has stepped up in his offense as the number-one option when Ja'Marr Chase has been unavailable.

The Bengals may not want to trade Tee Higgins within the AFC, but if there were a team they would trade him to (if they even trade him at all), Tennessee might be the spot to help out their former offensive coordinator. The fit and need are there as well with Tennessee. This would be a great spot for Higgins.