Stefon Diggs trade may pave the way for Jaguars to acquire Tee Higgins

• The Jaguars may have clear path to acquire Tee Higgins after the Stefon Diggs trade
Nov 5, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) hands his
Nov 5, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) hands his / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars could use help at wide receiver. While they could target one of the top receiver prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, they could also go after a proven veteran. Tee Higgins could be available via trade and Alex Kay of Bleacher Report thinks acquiring him would not be cost-prohibitive.

Kay named Jacksonville a potential landing spot for Higgins. This isn't particularly surprising when you take into account that they need help at wide receiver after losing Calvin RIdley in free agency. What stands out is that Kay thinks the former Clemson Tiger could be had for a second-round pick and a seventh.

"It remains to be seen if the Bengals would be willing to take only a mid-second round pick for Higgins—they might want a late-round throw-in as well—but the wideout's market could be cooler than expected due to his impending extension and lack of production in 2023.

If Jacksonville's Round 2 pick is the best offer the table, Cincinnati may be better served locking in a quality prospect for the next few years instead of wringing out one more season from Higgins and losing him for nothing more than a compensatory pick in 2025.

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This trade proposal doesn't look unreasonable after the Stefon Diggs trade. A few weeks before the 2024 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans got Diggs in exchange for a second-round pick. Granted, Diggs is older than Higgins but has already earned four Pro Bowl selections in his career.

It's true that Higgins is coming off an injury-marred season but he should have no trouble bouncing back in 2024. He's dealt with a hamstring strain dating back to his collegiate days, but he's rarely missed time, so it shouldn't be a cause for concern.

Higgins got off to a strong start to his NFL career, tallying 908 yards as a rookie. He followed it up with a back-to-back 1,000-yard season. Hamstring and rib injuries limited him to 12 games and 65 receptions for 615 yards with five touchdowns, but he would've been a hot commodity if he had been available in free agency. However, the Cincinnati Bengals applied the franchise tag on him, preventing him from hitting the open market.

Not long after he got the tag, Higgins requested a trade, citing the Bengals' lack of urgency to get a long-term deal done. Given that Ja'Marr Chase is also eligible for a contract extension, Cincinnati may not be able (or won't want) to pay both.

As of this writing, it looks like the Bengals expect Higgins to play the 2024 season on the tag. If they change their mind, they should have no shortage of suitors for veteran wideout.

Trading for Tee-Higgins may not be cost-prohibitive for the Jaguars

There are a handful of reasons why the Jaguars could be incentivized to trade for Tee Higgins. For starters, the Bengals may not want to deal with any potential distractions that could arise from Higgins not getting a deal. They won't probably get more than a second-rounder after the Stefon Diggs trade but that's better than letting him walk in 2025 (a possibility) and get nothing in return.

From the Jaguars' side of things, it makes sense to trade for Higgins not only because he's a proven commodity but also because he was Trevor Lawrence''s favorite target in college. The duo previously developed a close rapport, so it wouldn't take them long to rebuild their connection. Another benefit of trading for Higins is that the team's brass would address a big need and could turn their attention to the cornerback position.

The only potential downside of acquiring Higgins is that the Jaguars would need to give him a new deal, but that's not a deal-breaker. They were ready to pay Calvin Ridley before he bolted for the Tennessee Titans, so they won't probably mind forking out a considerable amount of money to bolster their wide receiver corps.

The bottom line is that the benefits of trading for Tee Higgins outweigh the benefits. Watching the Texans get Stefon Diggs for just a second-rounder may incentivize the Jaguars to give Cincinnati a call and get a deal done.

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