Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is reportedly present for mandatory minicamp after skipping OTAs while he is seeking a new contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Ja'Marr Chase was there for media day with the Bengals on Monday, and is in the building again today, according to Rapoport. This is a positive development for the Bengals and Chase, who hope to strike an agreement on a long-term deal this summer. This is likely the next big contract for the Bengals, who are also dealing with uncertainty regarding wide receiver Tee Higgins, who is on the franchise tag going into the 2024 season.

The Bengals drafted Chase in 2021 out of LSU, reuniting him with his college quarterback, Joe Burrow, who received a long-term deal with the franchise already. Chase has lived up to the hype so far in his NFL career, recording over 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons, helping Cincinnati get to the Super Bowl as a rookie. His rookie season was his best, as he had 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. Chase missed five games the next season, but still put up 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season, Chase put up 1,216 yards with seven touchdowns while missing one game and playing a good portion without Joe Burrow under center.

There is no question about how important Chase is for the Bengals. If they want to get to the Super Bowl, he will be a huge part of it, and reaching a long-term agreement would only help that goal. It would keep him happy and it would eliminate something that could loom over the team.

What will the Bengals do with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins?

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs off the field between plays in the second quarter of the NFL Week 18 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns at Paycor Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.
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In the Bengals' case, it seems like it is easy to see what they will do with Chase. After his former LSU teammate, Justin Jefferson signed a record-setting extension with the Minnesota Vikings, the market seems to be set. Jefferson is getting paid $35 million per year on his four-year, $140 million extension with Minnesota. He is viewed as a the best receiver in the league, but Chase is right up there as well, and his average annual value should land in that same ballpart.

It would make sense for the Bengals to eventually lock in Chase to an extension before the start of the 2024 season, and be somewhat of a surprise if that did not happen. When it comes to Tee Higgins, it is a different story.

Knowing that the Bengals have already extended Burrow, are likely to extend Chase, and have other players on significant deals, it would make sense if he does not fit into the long-term future. Although the Philadelphia Eagles paid two receivers in AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith while having Jalen Hurts on a big contract, it is not the conventional team building philosophy.

It seems like the plan is for the Bengals to have Higgins play on the franchise tag this season and try to make one more run at a Super Bowl with him, then evaluate where things stand next offseason.

For now, Chase reporting to mandatory minicamp is a positive development.