The Cincinnati Bengals are potentially heading into their last season with Tee Higgins on their roster, as he is on the franchise tag and requested a trade due to lack of progress on a long-term deal, and he opened up on what he would feel if he left the Bengals.

“It would be bittersweet,” Tee Higgins said, according to James Rapien of All Bengals. “I would definitely love to be here [in Cincinnati], but if that's not the situation, then that's not the situation.”

Higgins has been a key pass catcher for Joe Burrow, but it is tough to find a long-term deal due to other contract situations on the team. Joe Burrow already has a long-term deal, and Ja'Marr Chase is not present at OTAs due to him seeking a long-term deal as well. Ja'Marr Chase is the main option in the offense for Burrow, and seems more likely to be the wide receiver that the Bengals pay. Regardless, Higgins did make it clear that he wants to remain with the Bengals if possible.

“As far as coming back, I would love to come back,” Higgins said, according to Rapien. “I grew as a man in the past four years here. Grew as a player, got good new friendships. Great relationships with people not in the facility, in the City of Cincinnati, the fans are great. So I would definitely love to be here.”

Although Higgins has requested a trade from the Bengals, it seems there is still a potential solution to be found. However, it would likely involve the Bengals deciding to pay two wide receivers big deals in addition to their quarterback being paid big money as well. That would leave some holes elsewhere on the roster in important positions. As of right now, it seems unlikely, and it was recently reported that the two sides have not negotiated in over a year.

What will the Bengals do with Tee Higgins?

There are questions regarding Higgins' future past 2024, but it seems like the Bengals' plan is to keep him for the 2024 season. This makes sense because when the team, especially Joe Burrow is healthy, it is a Super Bowl contender. Trading Higgins for draft picks at this point only lessens the chances of Cincinnati winning a Super Bowl.

Higgins made a trade request back in March, and recently it was reaffirmed that he would want a trade. However, it just seems like there is not much he can do. It might be in his best interest to play out this year with the Bengals, try to put in a strong season and win a Super Bowl, then worry about his long-term situation. It seems unlikely that a solution will be found this offseason.