Bengals HC Zac Taylor addresses holdouts from pair of star receivers

    The Bengals offseason has already had several ups and downs and it seems that is going to continue with two of their star players absent from OTAs.

    Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase did not show up for the start of Cincinnati’s organized team activities on Tuesday as he seeks a contract extension while wide receiver Tee Higgins is also not participating in the offseason program as he has yet to sign the franchise tag.

    While quarterback Joe Burrow is left to work with wide receivers Trenton Irwin, Jermaine Burton, Andrei Iosivas and Charlie Jones instead, head coach Zac Taylor doesn’t seem too worried about the absence of the star duo.

    “[They] are still working hard elsewhere, and they’ll be back at the right times,” Taylor said, via Ben Baby of ESPN. “The beauty is we know those guys. We know what they’re about and that they’ll be ready and focused when it’s time to come back.”

    The question is when will they come back?

    Chase is heading into the final year of his rookie deal and wants to be paid like the No. 1 wide receiver he is. The three-time Pro Bowler has 268 catches for 3,717 yards and 29 touchdowns since entering the NFL three years ago.

    Higgins, who was placed with the franchise tag this offseason, wants a long-term deal, too. However, he revealed in March that the team has not had any talks about a long-term contract extension in about a year. As a result, the former Clemson receiver requested a trade.

    It seems Higgins has since come to terms that he’ll be playing for the Bengals in 2024, as they were not interested in entertaining his request.

    “I do anticipate it,” Higgins told WLWT in April.

    That doesn’t mean the 25-year-old is happy with Cincinnati’s handling of the situation. If the team wants to get the most out of Higgins in 2024, giving him the payday he deserves would be a good start.

    The Bengals don’t seem to be in a rush to do so, however, as Taylor has the confidence that everything will works itself out in due time.

    “They have the information, so I know that they’re staying on top of it,” Taylor added. “When they get here and are able to get those reps. I know that those two guys are vets, and they’ll be in a real good spot.”

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