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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Two Bengals star players have requested a trade

A Bengals helmet on the field

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Detailed view of a Cincinnati Bengals helmet during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of the Bengals’ star players have requested a trade from Cincinnati.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that both Trey Hendrickson and Tee Higgins have requested trades from the team.

Hendrickson has two years left on the 4-year, $60 million deal he signed in 2021. He is making $15 million this year and $16 million next year, but is seeking more long-term money.

Higgins received a franchise tag from the Bengals that would pay him $21.8 million in 2024 if he were to sign his tender. Higgins has consistently told the Bengals all offseason that he wants a trade.

Cincinnati may not be willing to deal either player before they have to. Hendrickson is under contract for two more seasons, and the Bengals have Higgins’ rights for 2024. The team probably is eyeing a championship run in 2024 and has no desire to weaken their current roster.

But the trade requests from Hendrickson and Higgins are well-timed; they come a day before the first round of the NFL Draft. This may be the players’ way of telling teams around their league to get their offers in to the Bengals as soon as possible.

Hendrickson had a career-best 17.5 sacks last season. The 29-year-old defensive end has made three straight Pro Bowls. Higgins had 42 catches for 656 yards and 5 touchdowns in 12 games last season. The 25-year-old has had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons for Cincinnati during his 4-year career.

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