Some aren’t convinced Tee Higgins will be back with the Bengals in 2024, despite the fact Cincinnati used its franchise tag on the standout wide receiver.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler published a wide-ranging column Sunday sharing what the two NFL insiders heard during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Graziano, specifically, dropped an interesting nugget regarding Higgins.

“A lot of people in Indy seemed to think the reason the Bengals franchised Tee Higgins as early as they did was so they could trade him,” Graziano wrote.

The Bengals announced they tagged Higgins on Feb. 26. The deadline to use the franchise tag is Tuesday.

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“With a Ja’Marr Chase extension likely coming this offseason or next, Cincinnati might not be able to keep the band together around Joe Burrow much longer,” Graziano added.

Prior to being tagged, the 25-year-old Higgins was viewed as the top wideout set to hit the open market. Should the Bengals want to move on from Higgins in an effort to get something in return, they surely would have a handful of interested suitors.

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The Patriots, specifically, would be wise to make a call about Higgins given New England’s need to add talent on the offensive side of the ball.

Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/USA TODAY Sports Images