Bengals' Offseason Takes a Hilariously Bad Turn

The Cincinnati Bengals' offseason drama bodes well for the Browns next season.
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cleveland Browns are going through offseason workouts on a high note. The team is much improved with offseason additions, the key players are healthier, and the overall mood is positive. The same, however, can not be said about their AFC North rivals. In fact, the Cincinnati Bengals are having one of the most drama-filled OTAs of any team in the NFL.

In the second round of voluntary organized team activities, the Bengals are still without their two star offensive weapons. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are both absent from team workouts this week, according to Adam Schefter.

Bengals Continue Their Drama-Filled OTAs

Chase is entering his fourth season in the NFL and is now eligible for a contract extension. He has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark and made the Pro Bowl every season of his career, so he is demanding to be one of the highest-paid receivers in the league.

Higgins had a down year in 2023 due to injuries but he has been consistently productive for the Bengals in his four seasons there. He received over 1.000 yards in each of his previous two seasons in Cincinnati. Higgins is currently in a contract standoff with the Bengals after they franchise-tagged him. He is yet to sign his deal and has requested a trade earlier in the offseason.

The importance of Chase and Higgins for the Bengals can't be understated. They have been the two most reliable pass-catchers for their offense for the past three seasons. They already lost Tyler Boyd in free agency, and their receiver room behind them leaves plenty to be desired.

The Bengals will likely find a way to re-sign Chase and keep him happy but the situation with Higgins may be more complicated.

Joe Burrow will be healthy and could have a bounce-back season but if he doesn't have his full complement of receivers in place, the Bengals might not be as formidable as some may have thought.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Bengals are +170 to win the AFC North while the Browns are a long shot with +500 odds. This offseason drama in Cincinnati may be an opportunity for Cleveland to defy their division odds.

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