After securing Joe Burrow with a hefty contract last offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals are now confronted with challenging decisions in the upcoming NFL free agency. Duke Tobin, a Bengals executive, openly acknowledged the financial constraints, hinting that retaining wide receiver Tee Higgins, who is set to become a free agent, might pose affordability challenges.

Expressing his desire to keep Higgins in the team, Tobin conveyed to on Tuesday, “I want Tee Higgins back. Everyone on our team would like Tee Higgins back. There’s a pie, and there are things we can do and can’t do because of it. We’ll see.”

The Bengals have successfully built a promising young team primarily through the draft, allowing them to retain and acquire key free agents in previous offseasons. However, with the current crop of young players now eligible for extensions, each significant contract signed diminishes the team’s capacity to secure other players.

Notable Bengals draft picks like Burrow, Logan Wilson, Sam Hubbard, and Trey Hendrickson have inked extensions recently, and the impending massive contract for star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase further strains the team’s financial flexibility. This reality, as Tobin describes it, impacts the availability of resources for other impending free agents on the roster.

In the 2024 offseason, players like Tee Higgins, offensive tackle Jonah Williams, and defensive tackle DJ Reader face the dilemma of either accepting below-market deals from the Bengals or exploring opportunities elsewhere for more lucrative contracts. The subsequent season brings a similar financial challenge for figures like center Ted Karras, defensive tackle BJ Hill, running back Joe Mixon, and defensive back Mike Hilton.

The Bengals front office now faces the task of demonstrating its drafting prowess without the luxury of selecting in the top 10, as they did in previous years while assembling this talented team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *