HomeTrade RumorsUpdate on AFC North: Tee Higgins' performance, Deshaun Watson, Nick Chubb injury,...

Update on AFC North: Tee Higgins’ performance, Deshaun Watson, Nick Chubb injury, Bengals, Browns, Ravens prospects.

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Bengals

Regarding the possibility of using the franchise tag on WR Tee Higgins, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said he’d like for Higgins to return but they are working on how to proceed.

“I don’t think I’m going to be breaking any news today. Last year, Tee Higgins was under contract to us. He was a guy that we drafted for that reason, to be a contributor for us. He’s not under contract now so we’re going to have to work through how to do that and if it’s possible and we’ll have to go through the gymnastics of that. So it’s a different scenario than it was last year. Trading a high-level player that’s under contract just because the future might demand it, that’s never really on my mind. We’ll see what happens this year. I want Tee Higgins back. Everyone on our team would like to have Tee Higgins back. Again, there’s one pie and how big of a slice that takes and what else we can’t do because of it, we’ll have to determine, and we’ll see,” said Tobin, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Browns

Whether due to injury or suspension, Browns QB Deshaun Watson has not been able to stay on the field, playing just 12 games over the past two seasons after missing the entire 2021 season while still in Houston. When he has played, he hasn’t been good. Still, the Browns are projecting optimism about Watson’s future — even if they have no choice due to being stuck with that fully-guaranteed contract for several more seasons.

“We feel good about Deshaun,” Browns GM Andrew Berry said via the Athletic’s Zac Jackson. “I think the biggest thing is just him staying on the field, keeping (him) on the field. Each year, we really do try and do as much self-assessment as possible on every area of the operation. So in good years and bad years, (we) will probably always tinker somewhere to some degree with what we think is best. But in terms of just Deshaun in particular, we’re excited. We just want to make sure he’s healthy.”

  • Berry said it’s not a given yet that the Browns will restructure Watson’s contract: “I’ll be honest, I’m not there yet. It’s not a necessity (to lower that), but it just kind of depends on how we put the plan together.”
  • Watson will count nearly $64 million against the cap in 2024, and the Browns can create $33 million in space with a restructure. They’d be severely limited in space without pulling that lever.
  • Berry acknowledged Browns RB Nick Chubb will probably have to rework his deal to return to Cleveland in 2024. He has a $16 million cap hit in the final year of his deal and all but $4 million of that would be cleared if he’s cut. He’s returning from a significant knee injury.

Ravens

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