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Higgins spends time with Hamlin in offseason

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss how Tee Higgins and Damar Hamlin being able to hangout is a prime example of the fact that football is family.

Video Transcript

- What sparked hanging out with Damar when you guys went and hung out?

TEE HIGGINS: It was cool, man. I had fun. Took time away from everywhere and had some alone time to us as a guys just hanging out and it was cool, man. It was cool.

- How did that come about, like, the connection with Damar to go do that thing?

TEE HIGGINS: Yeah. You know him and Tyler grew up together, so I mean, they're pretty good friends. And we've been trying to set something up for a while and we finally was able to do it and it was a good time.

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MIKE FLORIO: One of the great developments from the near tragedy--

CHRIS SIMMS: Wow.

MIKE FLORIO: --from early January in Cincinnati.

CHRIS SIMMS: Really cool.

MIKE FLORIO: Tee Higgins, blamed by some in the media. I was going to throw in a couple of--

CHRIS SIMMS: Blamed by idiots in the media, you mean?

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

Idiots? I'll just say that. Yeah, thank you.

MIKE FLORIO: Yeah. That it's his fault that Damar Hamlin had cardiac arrest--

CHRIS SIMMS: How dare you try to break a tackle.

MIKE FLORIO: Yeah. Yes, you're supposed to just go down. It's two hand touch. It's no longer tackle football. You're not supposed to resist the effort of the defensive player to tackle you because there's a 1 in a trillion chance that you're going to strike him in the chest just the right way to cause Commotio Cordis and put him in cardiac arrest.

How dare you. How dare you do your job, because of that one in a trillion shot that came to pass. I think it's great that they forged a relationship. Tee Higgins had to have struggled. And even though everything worked out, think about what he carried around with him in the days when the outcome was uncertain.

CHRIS SIMMS: Of course.

MIKE FLORIO: Think about that stress. Life is hard enough in the year 2023 without having to wonder for multiple days whether you were the one who did the thing that led to someone dying, even if it was the weirdest possible confluence of circumstances that can happen. You walk around for multiple days thinking, either this guy's not going to live or he's never going to be the same, and it was all because of me. Even if it isn't my fault, it was still because of me. I was the one who supplied the blow to the chest that caused this to happen.

That is a tough burden. And thankfully, Damar Hamlin's fine, for a variety of reasons, but one of which is for the overall mental health and well-being of Tee Higgins. And then he's able to strike up a relationship with him and fully understand this is just the way the game is.

Everybody assumes that risk. Small as it may be, everybody assumes it. So I think it's just a great story that those two have formed a relationship.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, it is. It's awesome. It is. It's cool. Tyler Boyd, who also went to Pitt, like Damar Hamlin, he bridged the gap there for them to do that.

I mean, what a great picture. You know what I want to say to you, Mike. You know what I want to say, don't you? F-I-F.

What does that stand for? Football is family, baby. Woo-hoo! Look at this. Honor and a privilege.

Football is family. Hanging out. But no, in all seriousness, it is an amazing story.

And I think hopefully people see the humanity in players. Yeah they like to go out there and play hard, and win games, and hit hard and do all those type of things, but these are some of the most caring, cool people on the planet too, these football players. And I sometimes people lose sight of that because of that gladiator aspect.