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Projecting early extension candidates on offense from the 2020 NFL Draft: Tee Higgins, Jonathan Taylor, Gabriel Davis and more

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) catches a pass during warmups prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

We already covered the 2020 NFL Draft quarterbacks, with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts the first to sign the dotted line. Now we take a look at the other offensive players from the 2020 class that could be in line to sign major extensions this offseason. 

In years past, we’ve included first-round picks, with the occasional non-quarterback agreeing to an extension with two years remaining on their rookie deal when including the fifth-year option. However, it’s such a rarity that we felt this article was better suited to address players outside the first round that are entering true contract years in 2023. 

Wide receiver

We kick things off with wide receivers and buck the trend from last offseason a bit, where Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf all signed three-year extensions to get back to the market as quickly as possible. We expect the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts to push pretty hard for a longer deal to at least get one year of extra control, and with Gabriel Davis and the Buffalo Bills, they can point to the fact Stefon Diggs agreed to a four-year extension last offseason. 

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

What Cincinnati will do with Higgins and Joe Burrow is already one of the biggest storylines of the NFL offseason, so big in fact that we recorded an entire PFF NFL Podcast centered around the topic. The situation is complicated for a myriad of reasons, namely that Higgins is not the best wide receiver on his own team, but also how to balance his production between Ja’Marr Chase presence and the benefit of playing with Joe Burrow. Higgins would undoubtedly be the No. 1 wide receiver on many NFL rosters and would probably have more production from a volume standpoint just by sheer target share but has been remarkably efficient as a No. 2 option in Cincinnati.

Higgins’ 2.08 yards per route run since 2021 ranks 13th, but Jaylen Waddle at 2.15 yards per route run is the only player ahead of him that is also not the No. 1 receiving weapon on his team. 

Contract Projection: Four years, $97 million ($24.25 million per year), $32.25 million guaranteed


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