Bears should go after Tee Higgins this offseason
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Bears should go after Tee Higgins this offseason


by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - The Bears need a No. 2 receiver to go with DJ Moore, and Tee Higgins is a great fit. He has consistently shown an ability to play that position well behind Ja’Marr Chase with the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, he is set to become a free agent. So if the Bengals do not pay him, Chicago should.

Besides this past season, Higgins has put up at least 900 receiving yards every season he has played. His catch percentage is consistently solid, and he has gotten at least five receiving touchdowns every season. This past season he had a career-high in yards per reception with 15.6. While he has never been named to the Pro Bowl or been an All-Pro, neither has DJ Moore, which shows that those accolades are not an accurate measure of the talent of a wide receiver, and sometimes someone gets overlooked because of the talent surrounding them or the team they are on.

Financially, Higgins is less expensive than other receivers out there. Because he has not put up the No. 1 receiver numbers, he does not demand the salary of a No. 1 receiver. Therefore, according to Spotrac, the contract he is entitled to receive would be around a five-year contract worth $19.25 million per year. If he received this contract with Chicago, he would actually be making more than DJ Moore currently is, so it is more likely his contract would be a little less than the $19.25 projected by Spotrac, perhaps more around $17 million, which is still slightly more than Moore will get paid in 2024.

Paying $17 million for a No. 2 receiver may sound like a lot. However, given the going rate for No. 2 receivers in the NFL - Mike Williams with his $20 million contract or Christian Kirk with his $18 million contract - $17 million is not that bad. Furthermore, it is a cap-friendly deal. Chicago currently has almost $50 million in cap space, with an estimated $11 million of that to be spent on draft picks given the picks they currently have. Spending $17 on Higgins still leaves the Bears with about $22 million on other players, and that is given they retain everyone who is currently set to have a cap hit in 2024.

If they were to get rid of running back Travis Homer, for example, that would save almost $2 million in cap space, while getting rid of back Khalil Herbert would save another $1 million. Those are just a few of the players that could create a little more cap space for Chicago, meaning they have more than enough funds to get a receiver like Higgins.

There is one caveat to getting Higgins - his injury history. While he usually only misses two or three games in a season, Higgins missed a total of five games this season. What is more considering, however, is the injuries seem to be mostly the same dating back to college. He has sprained his right ankle three times, according to Draft Sharks.

Further, he has injured his right hamstring at least five times going back to college. Given the injury concern, Chicago would have to prepare for him missing a few games next season. However, that does not seem like a large price to pay to finally fill the void of the No. 2 receiver for most of the season, particularly if the Bears can build some depth at the receiver position between free agency and the draft.

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