Tee Higgins and Brandon Aiyuk labeled potential trade candidates by NFL insider

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

A couple of wide receivers could be on the move in the coming offseason, as NFL insider Dan Graziano marked Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals and Brandon Aiyuk of the San Francisco 49ers as potential trade candidates.

The Bengals shipping Higgins, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, might be counterintuitive, especially since they placed the franchise tag on him earlier this year. However, there is the possibility that the team made the move in order to trade him.

“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. “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.”

As for Aiyuk, he has been instrumental in the Niners’ deep playoff runs in the past three seasons. Per Graziano, the team would like to have him for the long term. But if the parties involved can’t get a deal done, a trade could instead be in the works.

“The 49ers would like to get Brandon Aiyuk’s contract extended, but he’s also a trade candidate if they can’t get something done,” wrote Graziano.

For Cincinnati, the 2024 offseason is crucial, especially after a disappointing 2023 campaign where it failed to reach the postseason with a 9-8 record. Of course, Burrow getting injured was a massive reason behind the letdown. Still, salary cap matters might restrict the team’s options in the near future.

It will be quite unfortunate if the Bengals cannot keep their core players together. They are just two years removed from reaching the Super Bowl, where they were four points away from becoming an NFL champion for the first time. The squad lost to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI.

Higgins played a key role in Cincinnati’s successful 2021 season. He even scored the team’s two touchdowns in the title game and finished the contest with the most receiving yards among all players.

Aiyuk has been one of the Niners’ top receivers in recent years, helping the franchise reach the NFC Championship in the past three seasons. They faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII, where the 2020 first-round draft pick caught three passes for 49 yards.

Only time will tell if Higgins and Aiyuk indeed find new homes in the coming months.

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Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.