With Tee Higgins rumors flying in recent days, Jaguars running back and former Clemson Tiger teammate Travis Etienne made his own subtle pitch to the star wideout.
It is highly unlikely star Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins plays for any team but the Bengals in 2023, but that doesn't stop rumors -- and recruiting -- from happening.
Even from Jacksonville Jaguars' running back Travis Etienne.
An article from The Athletic on the Bengals' offseason and extension candidates in the 2023 offseason pinpointed the tough decisions facing the Bengals when it comes to Higgins, who will be entering the final year of his contract.
Since then, for one reason or another, the already-present questions about Higgins' future have been flying at a breakneck pace.
"Higgins is not a free agent. His contract dictates he reports and plays for the last year of his deal, worth $4 million, but conversations need to be had about a long-term contract. If the numbers are outrageous and it’s clear the two sides won’t see eye to eye, the Bengals could go the route taken by multiple teams in recent seasons and deal the receiver for a top draft pick and start the cycle over with a rookie receiver," Paul Dehner Jr. wrote.
While Dehner is just pointing out potential scenarios and even states that he believes Higgins will play out his rookie contract with the Bengals in 2023 before dealing with further decisions after that, the thought of Higgins joining the likes of A.J. Brown and other top receivers in recent years has at least crept into the court of public opinion. Enough for Higgins himself to laugh at the takes flying on Friday afternoon.
But this didn't stop recruiting from those in the NFL universe, including Etienne. Etienne and Higgins were teammates at Clemson from 2017-2019, which included the two sharing two seasons alongside Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
As such, Etienne posted a story on Instagram that included a video of Lawrence throwing a touchdown pass to Higgins at Clemson, tagging the Bengals star.
It is unlikely the Jaguars trade for Higgins in 2023 for a number of reasons, with the top one being the Bengals have no reason to deal Higgins as he awaits the final year of his contract year.
But it is at least worth exploring if Higgins ever does hit the trade market one day, especially with Lawrence finding his voice when it comes to the Jaguars' offseason moves.
“One hundred percent," Lawrence said last week when asked if he would weigh in on some of the Jaguars' impending free agents and decisions.
"There’s conversations obviously, that need to be had. I think you look at what we did this season, it’s about the people that we have, not just the people on the field, not just the players on the field, but the people, too. I think you look at those two guys (TE Evan Engram and OL Jawaan Taylor) and many other guys on our team and really what they brought to this team besides just being great players. The people they were, the hard work, all the things that people don’t see always, there’s a lot of things that go into that. You want to keep guys like that that really have set the standard for the organization and have been a part of what you’re building here, and I think moving forward, that’s one of the things you have to look at in the guys you want to have.”
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