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Amid a report from The Athletic that the Bengals could deal star wide receiver Tee Higgins prior to the NFL draft “if the numbers are outrageous” and that the two parties “won’t see eye to eye,” former Clemson teammate and current Jaguars running back Travis Etienne has already started his recruiting efforts.
Etienne has developed into Jacksonville’s No. 1 running back with former Clemson teammate and top draft pick Trevor Lawrence developing nicely into the Jags’ franchise quarterback.
Despite sizable strides taken forward offensively in year two with both players and new coach Doug Pederson, the team could use another difference maker at wide receiver, and Etienne started his efforts to bring another former teammate into the offense through a post on his Instagram story.
Higgins was instrumental in the 2018 national championship season for Clemson, catching 59 passes for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns. Higgins had an even better year in ’19 for the Tigers, catching another 59 passes for 1,167 yards and 13 scores.
He declared for the draft following his junior season and has been impressive for the Bengals since being selected in the second round of the 2020 draft.
In three seasons with Cincinnati, he’s caught 215 passes for 3,028 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s been the team’s clear No. 2 target in the offense behind teammate Ja’Marr Chase.
If Cincinnati can’t reach a contract extension with Higgins, the Bengals could elect to move him before the draft prior to playing out the final year of his rookie contract. If a move like that is considered, perhaps Jacksonville could be a destination to reunite him with two former teammates.