Tee Higgins to Arizona Cardinals among top NFL trade rumors


Highlights The Arizona Cardinals have draft capital for a Tee Higgins trade, including picks No. 4, 27, and 35 in the 2024 NFL Draft.
If they do complete a trade, a Higgins extension would be likely thanks to the Cardinals’ $29.7M in cap space.
There would be a hefty target volume available for Higgins in Arizona with the recent departures and quality of play they’ve seen at the position.
Franchise-tagged wide receiver Tee Higgins is seeking a trade, prompting the NFL rumor mill to speculate on his immediate future.
Naturally, the question is ‘Where will Tee Higgins play in 2024?’ While there are many teams that would like to get in on the Higgins sweepstakes, there are a number of factors suggesting the answer is the Arizona Cardinals.
In a vacuum, there would be no shortage of interest in a player of Higgins’ caliber. He struggled with injuries in 2023, not to mention that quarterback Joe Burrow was limited to 10 not-completely-healthy contests. However, from 2020-2022, Higgins produced at a rate that would yield 79 receptions, 1,119 yards, and seven touchdowns per year across 17 games.
Higgins will remain a sidekick to Ja’Marr Chase in Cincinnati, but would presumably walk into the unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver role on a new team, in addition to receiving the extension that he craves.
It’s reasonable to expect both to be the case in the event Higgins is traded to the Cardinals, who are tasked with replacing a significant degree of production from what was already a thin and underwhelming wide receiver corps.
Related Top 4 Landing Spots for Tee Higgins Following Trade Request Four potential trade partners for the Cincinnati Bengals following Tee Higgins’ request for a trade.
Arizona Cardinals Present Ideal Fit for Tee Higgins
Draft Capital: 11 total picks | Top 100 picks: 6
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
A blockbuster Higgins swap is likely to focus heavily, if not exclusively, on draft capital. That’s wings up for the Cardinals, who own a trove of high selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. They own picks No. 4, No. 27, and No. 35 across the first two rounds, and will add to that collection of ammo if a quarterback-needy team comes calling for the No. 4 pick.
Two relatively recent blockbuster trades involving front line wide receivers offer context to what a Higgins-to-Cardinals swap may look like:
In 2022, A.J. Brown was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for picks No. 18 and 101.
In 2020, Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for pick No. 22 plus additional Day 3 selections.
If we’re using those two swaps as a general framework, it’s reasonable to consider the Cardinals’ No. 27 selection the potential centerpiece of a swap for Higgins.
Several teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, who have already made a trade to acquire more draft capital, and the Denver Denver Broncos, who would probably be best served by staying put (though that’s never stopped a GM before) are popular candidates to make aggressive plays to move up to the No. 4 slot.
Doing so would arm Arizona with additional selections to package in a proverbial “Godfather offer” aimed at making Higgins their new No. 1 offensive weapon.
Cardinals Possess Necessary Cap Space to Extend Tee Higgins
Higgins’ contract extension is possible thanks to $29.7 million in cap space
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Cardinals have a little over $29.7 million in cap space as of this writing, according to Spotrac. Higgins’ tag number is a bit over $21.8 million for 2024, but he will likely receive an extension should he land in the desert.
Top Wide Receiver Total Cash Salaries 2024 Player Team 2024 Total Cash Michael Pittman Jr. Indianapolis Colts $28,000,000 Calvin Ridley Tennessee Titans $25,000,000 Keenan Allen Chicago Bears $23,100,000 Mike Evans Tampa Bay Buccaneers $23,000,000 Deebo Samuel San Francisco 49ers $21,922,000 Tee Higgins Cincinnati Bengals $21,816,000
Brown signed a four-year, $100 million extension with $57.2 million guaranteed after the trade that sent him from the Music City to the City of Brotherly Love. Diggs received a four-year, $96 million extension with $70 million guaranteed from Buffalo in 2022.
We won’t speculate on a monetary figure for Higgins, but he and his agent, David Mulugheta, can certainly promise an impact similar to what Brown and Diggs provided for the Eagles and Bills, respectively.
Where Higgins’ hypothetical extension lands among his peers remains to be seen, but it would compensate him handsomely and provide the length necessary for Higgins to get comfortable in his new digs.
Tee Higgins Ascends to Top of Cardinals’ WR Corps
Cardinals offense would flow through new top offensive weapon
Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
Higgins landing in Arizona via draft day trade would undoubtedly make quarterback Kyler Murray a very happy man. The Cardinals are in dire need of perimeter pass-catching talent, both from a quantity and quality standpoint.
GIVEMESPORT Key Stat: The departures of wide receivers Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore plus tight end Zach Ertz this offseason left a 206-target void. That volume accounted for 38.1 percent of the Cardinals’ 2023 target distribution.
Adding theoretical urgency to pursue—and land—a player of Higgins’ caliber is the fact that second-year tight end Trey McBride led the team in targets, receptions, and yards. That’s not meant as a knock on McBride, who looks like a quality weapon, but it’s relatively rare for tight ends to dominate their teams in receiving, the Travis Kelces of the world notwithstanding.
Higgins managed to produce a 17-game pace of 119 targets from 2021-2023, playing opposite Bengals category-leader Ja’Marr Chase. That’s a healthy total, but consider the volume Higgins will command if he becomes, far and away, the No. 1 offensive threat on the Cardinals. Second-year receiver Michael Wilson has a role in the offense, but neither he nor McBride will stand between Higgins and 140+ targets.
The Cardinals would be injecting a multidimensional perimeter receiver into their mix, someone capable of threatening defenses deep—Higgins averages 14.3 yards per reception for his career, good for sixth among WRs with 250+ receptions since he was drafted in 2020—and providing some much-needed play-making to an offense that ranked 24th in scoring, 26th in passing, and 29th in yards per pass attempt in 2023.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference unless stated otherwise.


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