Bengals, Tee Higgins ‘haven’t talked yet’ amid contract standoff

The Cincinnati Bengals and wide receiver Tee Higgins have yet to talk on a contract extension.

While not shocking, so says a new report from ESPN’s Matt Miller:

A source close to the Higgins situation told me the two sides haven’t talked yet, making it unclear if the Bengals will move Higgins, but that person also noted the team believes it is in win-now mode and can challenge the Chiefs for the AFC title this season with Higgins on the roster. Ja’Marr Chase also needs a new contract, which could play a part and even open the door for the Bengals to draft a receiver in Round 1 to replace Higgins if Cincinnati can’t afford both pass-catchers.

Though a different recent report has said the Bengals are willing to listen if a team calls about a Tee Higgins trade, it’s still extremely unlikely, given the compensation the team would demand in return.

Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn, more recently, said the plan remains to keep both Higgins and Chase for the long-term.

For now, no progress on extension talks after the application of the franchise tag isn’t surprising or indicative of how things might play out. Once everyone’s in the building — when and if Higgins reports — then the conversation changes.

Given the team control of Higgins via the franchise tag (and the possibility of another next offseason), the Bengals have enough leverage to avoid drafting a Round 1 receiver, though Chase’s upcoming extension does make for a tricky cap tightrope for the front office to walk.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire