It looks like Cincinnati Bengals fans will be on pins and needles for the entirety of the offseason regarding the free agency status of star wide receiver Tee Higgins. The 2020 second-round draft pick will enter free agency this offseason after his rookie contract ended after the 2023 season. Higgins will undoubtedly command a lofty price tag, but that hasn’t stopped teams, including their quarterbacks, from courting him in late January. Per the QB Unplugged podcast with Cleveland Browns signal-caller Deshaun Watson and quarterback coach Quincy Avery, the duo pitched Higgins on signing with Watson’s AFC North club.
Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson: Publicly Recruiting Tee Higgins
Deshaun Watson and Quincy Avery discussed the Browns snagging Tee Higgins in upcoming free agency. Watson looked at the camera and spoke directly to the star wideout, saying, “Hey, Tee. I know you was down the road, family ties. You know AB (Andrew Berry) ain’t afraid to spend money. You’ll get the ball. We want to pass the ball, you know what I’m saying? So that’s what we are going to do. We are going to pass it a lot to Chubb and Ford.”
In the episode of QB Unplugged, co-host Quincy Avery also stated that Higgins would not need to leave the state of Ohio if he signed with the Browns. Higgins has played his first four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals but could stay close to the area by signing with the Browns. Watson also pitched Higgins on Cleveland by talking about the fans and the opportunity to play together.
Watson continued, saying, “The Cleveland fans are going to love you to death. And we got the Clemson ties. We didn’t get to play with each other, but this is our opportunity. Man, come on over to the Land, man. We get lit over here, I’m telling you.”
Watson, the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, earned All-American honors with the Clemson Tigers while winning ACC Player of the Year in 2015. He won a College Football National Championship with Clemson in 2016, the same year he became the runner-up to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson for the Heisman Trophy Award. Meanwhile, Higgins arrived at Clemson the year after Watson’s departure. He posted 59 receptions in each of his last two seasons, including a 1,167-yard campaign during his final season in 2019. Like Watson, he won a ring with the Tigers.
Cincinnati Bengals WR Tee Higgins: Starred with Team for Four Seasons
The six-foot-four receiver joined the Bengals as the 33rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. He snagged 67 passes for 908 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. He joined current signal-caller and star Joe Burrow as a rookie in 2020. The two continued to develop a rapport in 2021, with Higgins recording 74 receptions for a career-high 1,091 yards. Higgins again posted a 1,000-yard season in 2022, including helping lead the Bengals to their second straight AFC Championship.
Higgins, alongside Burrow, struggled with injuries this season. The Clemson product finished the year with 656 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games. Fellow wideout Ja’Marr Chase will also command a big payday soon and could hinder the Bengals from resigning Higgins.