Chase is Cincinnati’s most-important offensive player outside of quarterback Joe Burrow. It’s not a coincidence that Cincinnati has won two consecutive games with Chase combining for 262 yards and four touchdowns during that span.
Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are fine No. 2 options. But neither one stands out as an individual capable of replacing the production we’ve seen from Chase throughout his first 24 NFL games.
At 4-3 on the season and with a big game coming up Monday night against the division-rival Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati might now opt to look at the trade market ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline. Below, we give you some options for the team moving forward.
Bengals bring in a stopgap option
There’s several veteran receivers who could be had on the trade market ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. A few of these would come cheap from both a financial and draft pick compensation standpoint.
Specifically, a pair of New England Patriots receivers in that of Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor have been bandied about on the rumor mill.
Of the two, Bourne might make the most sense given his track record and relatively low cap figure. The former San Francisco 49ers undrafted free agent recorded 55 receptions for 800 yards while catching 78.6% of his targets for the Pats last season. He also has a base salary of $3.5 million this season, of which the Bengals would be on the hook for just north of $2 million.
Cincinnati Bengals stick with the status quo
As noted above, Higgins and Boyd have performed at high levels throughout their careers. A second-round pick out of Clemson back in 2020, Higgins caught 74 passes for 1,091 yards and six touchdowns while hauling in 67% of his targets as a sophomore last season.
The veteran of this group, Boyd has recorded two career 1,000-yard seasons. Though, that came back in 2018 and 2019. Both have excelled as secondary options for Burrow behind Chase in the passing game this season.
- Tee Higgins stats (2022): 31 receptions, 455 yards, 2 TD, 70.5% catch rate
- Tyler Boyd stats (2022): 29 receptions, 455 yards, 3 TD, 76.% catch rate
Cincinnati can still have success with these two leading the charge. Let’s say for a second that Chase is out six weeks. That means he’ll miss five games with Cincinnati having a Week 10 bye. During this span, the team has outings against the Browns, Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Even with games against the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs to wrap up this span, it’s not a daunting schedule.
Cincinnati Bengalss look longer-term with Jerry Jeudy
Imagine Cincinnati being able to add the 23-year-old Jeudy to the mix. A first-round pick of the Broncos back in 2020, he still has a lot of untapped potential despite dealing with inconsistencies and injuries throughout his young career. Jeudy is also said to be on the block after performing at a high level in recent weeks.
- Cincinnati Bengals get: Jerry Jeudy
- Denver Broncos get: 2023 2nd-round pick, 2023 3rd-round pick
Two early-round picks might seem a bit excessive given what Cincinnati has at wide receiver. With that said, Jeudy would team up with Chase and Higgins to form the best trio of receivers in the league moving forward. Thus far this season, he’s on pace for nearly 1,000 receiving yards. In turn, the Bengals figure out what to do with Boyd following the 2022 season.