Has Tee Higgins revealed his preferred destination for 2024?
The Cincinnati Bengals‘ star wide receiver is set to become one of the more coveted free agents for this upcoming cycle. However, Higgins blurted out a relocation possibility before the period begins one month from now.
Tee Higgins Has Interest in Place and Coach He Knows
Speaking with “The Sick Podcast,” the native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was asked if there was any interest in perhaps coming back to his home state — only this time to play for the Titans and suit up for new head coach Brian Callahan.
“It would be good going back home to family and playing with a coach that I’ve already been under. It would be ideal,” Higgins said during his appearance on Radio Row in Las Vegas Thursday.
Tee Higgins on playing with #Titans: “It would be good going home…and playing with a coach that I’ve already been under”
— The Sick Podcast – Talking Titans (@SickPodTitans) February 8, 2024
Here’s why the intrigue of Higgins to the Titans has begun to build: Callahan is coming over from Cincy.
He was the offensive coordinator for Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Burrow, and Co. while working under head coach Zac Taylor. Higgins played under Callahan throughout his whole career with Callahan as the OC.
That means the new Titans head coach oversaw Higgins’ back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2021 and 2022. Those were additionally the campaigns that saw Higgins top off at 74 receptions.
Higgins’ Home Production From His Tennessee Days
If Higgins does indeed trek over to Nashville, the Titans will be luring back one of the more decorated wideouts the state has ever witnessed.
Higgins starred for Oak Ridge High, which is located approximately two hours and 30 minutes east of Music City. Higgins, at the time, still had his towering frame of 6’4″.
With his combination of height, speed, and catching prowess, Higgins worked his way to become the highest-rated wide receiver for the 2017 class in his state by 247Sports. The national recruiting outlet also listed him as the state’s third-best overall prospect. The outlet even handed him a high “10” grade for his impressive ball skills.
Higgins was then courted by 22 different collegiate programs, including in-state University of Tennessee. However, Dabo Swinney and Clemson earned his commitment as Higgins signed with the Tigers.
He immediately became a fan favorite in Death Valley. Higgins ended his collegiate career with 27 touchdowns — though he scored a combined 25 in his final two seasons of eligibility. He finished with back-to-back 59-catch seasons.
What Could Higgins’ Next Contract Look Like?
Higgins is more than likely going to earn way more than his current rookie deal. The same deal that is set to expire once the free agency cycle begins.
The Bengals locked him in for a four-year, $8,686,785 deal when they drafted Higgins. He earned a base salary of $2,993,000 for 2023.
But in a period when receivers are getting blockbuster, record-setting deals a la Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp, and Davante Adams, Higgins is being projected to earn a much higher bump in pay. Spotrac has predicted the following for the soon-to-be fifth-year wideout:
- New four-year deal.
- Total value of $74,405,184.
- Average annual salary tops at $18,601,296.
- That type of deal would make him the 15th-highest-paid wideout in the NFL.
But can the Titans afford to give him that kind of deal or go even higher?
Good news for those who call themselves “Tennessee Tough” inside Nissan Stadium: Their team can more than likely afford to pay Higgins.
Per Over the Cap, the Titans currently have $68,120,341 in cap space. With that money, they definitely have the flexibility to match the offer Spotrac predicts or even go with a $20 million base salary ceiling.
KEEP READING: 2024 Free Agents by Position
Overall, Higgins has sounded open to heading back to his home state. His words will definitely spark intrigue among Titan fans. Now it’s up to the Titans’ front office if they will make the aggressive pursuit of Higgins and bring back a Volunteer State star.
As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!