Joe Burrow emphasizes on Tee Higgins’ importance amid Bengals WR’s uncertain future

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. The quarterback also proved his worth by leading the squad to a good amount of success to this point.

However, the 2023 season was marked by injury setbacks for Burrow. He suffered a strained right calf on the second day of training camp. He had a five-game stretch before sustaining another injury. Burrow’s receiver, Tee Higgins, had the same luck throughout the season, but the QB doesn’t shy away from lauding his teammate.

Joe Burrow wants Tee Higgins to stay at Bengals

Joe Burrow expressed his desire to keep wide receiver Tee Higgins on the team for the upcoming season. Speaking to reporters in January, the Cincy quarterback talked about the significance of Higgins to the Bengals’ offense.

“Obviously, we’d love to have Tee back. He’s a big part of what we’ve done here. And there’s no secret (with) our relationship, so I expect Tee to be back. I think that’s the sentiment in the locker room. We all want Tee back, we know what kind of player he is, what kind of person he is. He’s what being a Bengal is all about.”

Higgins approaches free agency in March, and the Bengals face the challenge of securing a long-term extension or potentially utilizing the franchise tag. The tag comes with a hefty $21.8 million price tag for wide receivers.

The wide receiver proved invaluable to the Bengals’ passing game despite struggling with injuries. He recorded a career-high 15.6 yards per catch and contributed 656 yards and five touchdowns.

The decision to retain Higgins isn’t solely about on-field performance, it’s also about maintaining Joe Burrow’s satisfaction. The quarterback’s influence within the organization is undeniable, and his preference for keeping Higgins will likely weigh heavily on the front office’s decisions.

However, the business side of football introduces complexities. If a long-term agreement isn’t reached, the franchise tag could open up trade avenues, allowing the Bengals to extract value rather than risk losing Higgins in free agency without compensation. The director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, must address these considerations to ensure the best outcome for the organization.

Joe Burrow injury update

Joe Burrow is progressing well in his recovery from a torn wrist ligament in his throwing hand that ended his 2023 season. He recently provided an injury update, stating that he expects to be fully cleared for contact by the middle of May.

“I think middle of May is when I am expecting to kind of be cleared for full contact and everything. Over the next month [to] month and a half, we’ll kind of decide all those things,” Burrow told via Bleacher Report.

The quarterback suffered the injury during Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens, prompting season-ending surgery. However, he remains optimistic about his rehabilitation. He has already begun throwing small medicine balls and aims to return to full throwing sessions during the Bengals organized team activities.

The signal-caller’s recovery timeline aligns with his usual offseason routine, and the extended time off has allowed him an additional 12 weeks to address any “inefficiencies and weaknesses.” He expressed his excitement about returning to normal lifting activities.

Joe Burrow completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,309 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 10 games during the shortened 2023 season. He now aims to contribute to the Bengals’ resurgence after missing the playoffs in 2023.

A healthy return before training camp would significantly boost Cincinnati’s playoff chances this season. The quarterback’s commitment to rehab and offseason training could be key to avoiding an early-season slump and propelling the team back into contention.

Maliha

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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.

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