Hearing the rumors of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins had me the most excited I’ve been in a while. Higgins and the Bengals recently ended their third season together, with only one more year on his contract. While the Bengals have the ability to franchise tag him after the 2023-24 season, reports recently came out that Higgins wanted far more money than the Bengals were willing to give, and a potential trade involving one of the top picks could happen. Now, since 30/32 teams are sitting at home, trade speculation flowed. Combining a fanbase as large as Chicago with the #1 overall pick, naturally many fans called for the Chicago Bears to bring in Higgins via trade.
While it’s no secret that the Bears don’t plan to use their #1 pick, the possibilities are endless thanks to quarterback prospects Bryce Young and CJ Stroud. However, this opportunity doesn’t come very often so Chicago’s front office must be fairly picky on what to get in return. While Cincinnati would almost certainly have to add other assets in addition to Higgins for the coveted pick, the Bears have a lot of holes to fill. While a talented wide receiver to pair up with Darnell Mooney is exciting, both the offensive and defensive line need some serious help.
That being said, my initial reaction for the Bears to use the #1 pick to trade for Tee Higgins would be ‘Yes, do it’. Now, you might be wondering, “Why would the Bears trade the #1 overall pick for a wide receiver who isn’t even the best on his team?”, but that’s just unfair to Higgins. Despite working behind Ja’Marr Chase for the past couple of seasons, Higgins has proved his talent on the field and is an extremely underrated part of their offense. Standing at 6’4” tall with speed and athleticism, Higgins’ contested catch ability alone would land him at WR1 on many other teams in the league, including the Bears. In the four games that Chase didn’t play in last year, Higgins totaled 26 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns, nulling the argument that he can’t be good without Chase.
There are only a couple reservations I have about making this trade with our pick. The first is obviously, “Are we getting enough back?”. While it’s not even the offseason yet, it’s definitely too early to gauge value. However, the only other young and talented receiver I’ve seen rumors about is Michael Pittman Jr., from the Indianapolis Colts, and I think Higgins is a much better option. Another concern I would have is “What would we get in addition to Higgins?”. This, along with the Bengals not needing the absolute top pick, rounds out my problems with this potential trade.
With all that being said, it’s at least exciting to have our #1 pick and the value that comes with it. Whether we trade for Higgins specifically or not, at least we will see the Chicago Bears be fairly active this offseason.