AFC Rumors: Tee Higgins, Joe Flacco, L’Jarius Sneed, Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • NBC’s Matthew Berry cited multiple sources at the NFL Combine who has different expectations of whether the Bengals would trade or retain WR Tee Higgins
  • One source told Berry he expects Cincinnati to keep Higgins for 2024 instead of trading him: “No, they’re keeping him this year.” 
  • Another source told Berry he thinks Higgins has a “60 percent chance” to get traded given he may be a receiver-needy team’s best option compared to the free agent market.  
  • Berry also cites a source who knows how the Bengals operate who doesn’t believe they will trade Higgins because they “will likely wait too long and then not get enough for him back in a deal.”
  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. pinpoints some potential free agent fits for the Bengals next week, noting Cincinnati prefers to dip into free agency to reinforce the line of scrimmage primarily and likes to target younger players in the middle tier rather than guys on third contracts or at the top of the market. 
  • Dehner notes the Bengals were one of the teams that put in a claim for DT Teair Tart last year and they could try to sign him again now that he’s set to hit free agency. Other options include Dolphins DT Raekwon Davis or 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw on one-year pacts. 
  • Dehner mentions bringing back veteran DT D.J. Reader on a one-year deal is an option if his torn quad scares off other teams. Otherwise, he thinks the Bengals will stay away from the top of the market. 
  • At offensive tackle, Dehner says Jets OT Mekhi Becton makes a ton of sense as an option to start at right tackle. He’s not yet 25, has a history with Bengals OL coach Frank Pollack and the Bengals have a history of going after massive tackles. 
  • Other potential targets Dehner likes for Cincinnati include Ravens S Geno Stone, Bears WR Darnell Mooney, Colts RB Zack Moss and former Panthers TE Hayden Hurst. Dehner mentions Seahawks TE Noah Fant fits the profile, with the exception of his price tag might be too rich for Cincinnati. 


Browns QB Joe Flacco was asked if he wanted to remain in Cleveland on Sirius XM NFL Radio. He responded that it would be his first choice. 

“I spoke with my agent who was at the combine to kind of see what other opportunities were out there. I can tell you, that Cleveland is definitely the place I would feel best about,” Flacco said. “Now, then you have to get into the world of is someone actually going to give me a chance to play and all the different things that go into that. But I can’t help feeling a special feeling about Cleveland just because of the few weeks I spent there and how special it was. At the end of the day I don’t want that to be a huge part of the decision but I do think it will factor into the decision if I have one to make.”

Flacco was then asked if he was comfortable being the backup to QB Deshaun Watson.

“If I go back to Cleveland I will have to craft my mind around that idea,” he admitted. “Obviously, I want to play football, that is the biggest factor. But I don’t think you can make that decision without any hard evidence in front of you. There are a lot of things that will factor into my decision, but Cleveland is an unbelievable place and will hold a special value when I make those decisions.”

  • When examining how the Browns may proceed this offseason, Zac Jackson of The Athletic could see Cleveland re-signing DE Za’Darius Smith and still make a “big outside investment.”
  • Jackson thinks the Browns will be patient in approaching free agent DTs Shelby Harris and Maurice Hurst about extensions, while DT Jordan Elliott appears likely to reach the open market.  
  • Regarding the receiver position, Jackson feels the organization must explore free agency, trade, or the 2024 NFL Draft to make an upgrade even if they think Elijah Moore can become a big-play receiver. 
  • Jackson notes Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley, Cardinals WR Marquise Brown, Bears WR Darnell Mooney and Commanders WR Curtis Samuel as potential free-agent options to consider. 
  • Jackson would be surprised to see Cleveland make any big moves to their offensive line given GM Andrew Berry expects Jedrick Wills Jr., Jack Conklin, and Dawand Jones to be recovered from their knee injuries. 
  • As for free agent OL Michael Dunn and Nick Harris, Jackson could see the organization re-signing one of them but not both players. 



  • Nick Farabaugh of, citing a league source, reports Pittsburgh has expressed interest in acquiring Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed.
  • Farabuagh confirmed Kansas City requires at least a second-round pick in exchange for Sneed.
  • Pittsburgh would like to keep WR Allen Robinson, but approached him about reducing his salary, according to Ari Meirov with the 33rd Team. He’s set to make $10 million in 2024, all of which could be saved via release. 

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply