Tee Higgins
Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants desperately need to upgrade the wide receiver room this offseason. But they might not wish to give up significant cap space for any of the top free agents or risk drafting a bust in the first round.

This has, therefore, sparked the idea of a trade for Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. And how the Giants could commence work on a positional overhaul by sending a few draft picks to Cincinnati for the services of the talented 24-year-old.

It’s an idea that seems intriguing at the surface, sure. But from an in-depth perspective, the move isn’t even realistic.

The Higgins-Giants discussion is floating around because Higgins is coming off two consecutive 1000-yard seasons and still has a year remaining on his rookie contract. This makes him an attractive trade prospect for New York, but it also bodes the question: why in the world would the Bengals trade him?

It’s clear Cincinnati is in contention mode. The team has won two straight AFC North titles. The Bengals came up short in the Super Bowl last year before losing in the AFC Championship this season. Quarterback Joe Burrow will soon sign an extension, but is still on his cheaper rookie deal.

The Bengals want to win now and aren’t far from the Lombardi. So why would they give up a talented wide receiver with one year remaining on his rookie deal, especially when that year carries just a $3.96 million cap hit?

Cincinnati is in a perfect spot when it comes to Higgins, at least for the upcoming 2023 campaign. Still cheap, still talented, and hopefully still healthy throughout the season. Nothing better for a team that needs to spend elsewhere to get over the championship hump.

The only way the Giants could actually pry Higgins out of the Bengals’ hands would be to offer an eye-popping return. One that would likely include Big Blue’s 2023 first-round pick (No. 26 overall).

General manager Joe Schoen would be swinging for the fences by giving up that first-rounder (plus another selection or two) for Higgins. And while they desperately need to close the gap between them and the superior NFC squads like the Eagles and 49ers, there are only so many resources the Giants possess and so many position groups to figure out.

The Giants also need help in the secondary, on the offensive line, and at inside linebacker. On top of that, they could use more than just one new receiver, which is why drafting one isn’t totally off the table.

There are simply too many unresolved issues for Schoen to be giving up picks, even if it’s a late first-rounder for someone who could help improve a crucial position. Between that, and the Bengals’ leverage, Higgins seems to be a pipe dream for Giants fans.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.