The New England Patriots entered the regular season with a wide receiver corps that, on paper, doesn’t stack up to most passing attacks around the league. The absence of a true star pass catcher was abundantly apparent in Week 1, as New England’s supporting-cast talents were unable to make big plays when it mattered most.
This is likely to be an ongoing issue until the Pats address it in some way. However, their solution to this problem may have just become available.
Patriots Trade Rumors: Tee Higgins
Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer recently reported on the failed contract negotiations between stud wideout Tee Higgins and the Bengals. As the two sides couldn’t agree on an extension for the fourth-year pro, Conway revealed Higgins “is not believed” to be part of Cincy’s “future plans.”
This is quite the revelation. Higgins has been an integral part of the Bengals’ turnaround over the last few seasons, providing Joe Burrow with a premier big-bodied target who can go up and snag contested catches no matter the coverage. After falling just short as a rookie, Higgins has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, and he’s recorded at least 6 touchdowns in every season since entering the league.
The mere thought of Higgins in the Patriots’ offense is mouth-watering. Mac Jones has a nice safety valve in the form of tight end Hunter Henry, but he’s more of a short-to-intermediate option. Higgins is a three-way threat who excels down the field, which would open up this passing attack in a way that’s it lacked in recent years.
Adding a bonafide talent like Higgins not only makes Jones’ life easier, but the rest of the pass-catchers, too. His big-play ability will command opposing defenses’ attention, which should afford the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kendrick Bourne and Demario Douglas some extra room to operate.
New England has simply skimped at wide receiver for too long to let this opportunity pass by. The team let Jakobi Meyers walk this offseason, and he looks like the real deal in Las Vegas. The Pats then flirted with DeAndre Hopkins, but allowed the Tennessee Titans to snag him despite being able to outbid Mike Vrabel’s squad.
Yes, trading for Higgins requires a significant investment to make him happy. But it’d also be an investment in seeing Jones succeed under center, and the offense at large. This is the exact type of deal this team needs to pounce on.
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