AFC Notes: Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, Kenny Pickett, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic took a full look into the situation with the Cincinnati Bengals and WR Tee Higgins upon the star receivers’ pending free agency. With QB Joe Burrow now on a massive deal and WR Ja’Marr Chase due for a big extension soon, there are plenty of factors to consider in this decision.

  • Dehner starts by saying the most “direct, predictable route” to a Bengals’ title in 2024 is by using the franchise tag on Higgins to keep the dynamic offensive trio together.
  • Dehner admits paying Higgins will limit the rest of the roster, and they could look to go young at receiver and add “middle tier” free agents to hold them over.
  • The debate can go in any direction, but Dehner thinks the Bengals need to “be themselves” and stick with their “core beliefs” by keeping their trio together for one more season, even if it means handing Higgins the $20.7 million from a franchise tag.
  • Due to Burrow’s cap hit increasing and the pending Chase extension, Dehner wouldn’t hand Higgins a long-term deal because the cap will then become “suffocating” for the Bengals and they will have a challenging time adding talent everywhere else.
  • Cincinnati can save almost $6 million by cutting RB Joe Mixon this offseason, and some around the league feel it’s inevitable for the franchise to move on to invest in other positions. Mixon responded to a social media post saying the team is expected to move on from him and responded: “LMAO y’all said that last year too.” (Mixon on Twitter)



Veteran Steelers CB Patrick Peterson thinks that QB Kenny Pickett and OC Arthur Smith will be able to combine to get Pittsburgh’s passing offense going in 2024.

“I think Kenny Pickett will have the opportunity to really reap the fruits of this labor, having Arthur coming in there, having kind of like the same athletic attributes, a mobile quarterback, a guy who likes to throw the ball on the run, who can throw the ball on the run,” Peterson said on All Things Covered. “But also having a running back and a running committee that’s able to make his game a little bit easier. I’m excited about the hire.”

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