Bengals Stars Trey Hendrickson and Tee Higgins Request Trades Ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals face a potential crisis as star players Trey Hendrickson and Tee Higgins request trades, jeopardizing their championship aspirations with QB Joe Burrow.

Salman Khan
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Bengals Stars Trey Hendrickson and Tee Higgins Request Trades Ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

Bengals Stars Trey Hendrickson and Tee Higgins Request Trades Ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals are facing a potential crisis as two of their star players, defensive end Trey Hendrickson and wide receiver Tee Higgins, have requested trades just before the 2024 NFL Draft. Hendrickson, a three-time Pro Bowler, is seeking a longer deal than what the Bengals have been willing to offer, while Higgins has not had contract discussions with the team in over a year.

Hendrickson, who signed a three-year extension in 2023, is slated to make $15 million this season but wants more long-term security. He recorded a career-high 17.5 sacks last season and has had 39.5 sacks over his three years with the Bengals. If traded before June 1, it would result in $7.8 million in dead money while saving $12.3 million in cap space for the Bengals, or a dead-money hit of $5.2 million and savings of $15 million if the exchange occurred after June 1.

Higgins, on the other hand, was franchise-tagged by the team and is expected to be paid around $21.8 million for the 2024 season. He has already said he expects to play for the Bengals in the upcoming season, despite his trade request.

Why this matters: Losing both Higgins and Hendrickson would be a significant blow to the Bengals, as they are key players on offense and defense, respectively. The team also needs to work out a long-term deal with star wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, adding to the challenges they face.

The Bengals have limited salary cap space this offseason and will need to use much of it to sign draft picks and handle in-season spending. Fans have expressed disappointment and concern over the potential loss of these key players, as they fear it could significantly impact the team's ability to compete for a Super Bowl title in the near future.

Bengals owner Mike Brown has been criticized for being unwilling to properly reward and retain the team's top talent, which has led to concerns that the team may squander their championship window with quarterback Joe Burrow. "The Bengals' need to pay quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Jamar Chase could be a factor in Higgins' desire to be traded," some commenters suggest.

The Bengals have a history of not budging in the face of disgruntled players, and it remains to be seen whether they will grant Hendrickson's and Higgins' trade requests. The timing of these requests, coming just a day before the draft, has been noted as significant. As the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off, Hendrickson's and Higgins' names will be ones to watch as the Bengals potentially look to trade the disgruntled players.

Key Takeaways

  • Bengals stars Trey Hendrickson and Tee Higgins have requested trades before 2024 NFL Draft.
  • Hendrickson seeks longer deal, Higgins hasn't had contract talks in over a year.
  • Losing both players would be a significant blow to Bengals' offense and defense.
  • Bengals face salary cap challenges and need to sign Ja'Marr Chase long-term.
  • Bengals' history of not rewarding top talent raises concerns about their championship window.