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PFF thinks Jacksonville Jaguars should pursue Tee Higgins

Do the Jags stick with Calvin Ridley or opt to try and reunite Trevor Lawrence with his former college weapon?

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Almost every team in the NFL is now out of the playoffs, so it is about that time to start thinking about which players could be wearing new jerseys next season.

In a recent mock by Pro Football Focus documenting where high-profile free agents could end up, PFF has the Jaguars picking up wide receiver Tee Higgins.

Higgins will be entering his fifth year in the NFL next season, having played his previous four with the Cincinnati Bengals. PFF thinks the Jags upgrade from receiver Calvin Ridley by acquiring Higgins.

Styles win fights, but they also help round out passing attacks. And that’s exactly what Higgins would do in Jacksonville. Calvin Ridley saw 22 contested targets for the Jaguars in 2023, a facet in which Higgins has proven he can win as an NFL wideout. He caught 57.6% of his contested targets in 2022 and has proven himself to be a borderline No. 1 receiver when healthy.

The former Clemson star is coming off a year where he played in 12 games, catching 42 balls for 656 yards. Not to be forgotten, Higgins and quarterback Trevor Lawrence were teammates at Clemson.

With Higgins hypothetically coming to Jacksonville, PFF has Ridley heading out to the Carolina Panthers.

It’s a huge offseason both for the Carolina Panthers and for the development of 2023 first-overall draft pick Bryce Young. If he is to take the big step forward required, he will need a separator at the wide receiver position. That’s where Ridley comes in. His first season with the Jaguars was up and down, but he still managed to finish the year with 1,016 yards on 76 receptions, earning a 72.2 PFF receiving grade in the process.

If Ridley were to leave, the Jags essentially rented him for a third-round pick which will be owed to the Atlanta Falcons. That pick turns into a second-rounder if Ridley stays in Jacksonville and signs an extension. Ridley was supposed to be a dynamic game changer for the Jags, and at times was. But drops and miscommunications marred the later half of his year.

Working against the Jags in this hypothetical is the Bengals’ players want Higgins to stay. Star receiver Ja’Marr Chase advocated for his running mate to stay in Cincinnati to Bleacher Report. Quarterback Joe Burrow and Higgins himself even talked about it.

“Who knows how that will unfold at the end of the day,” Chase told Bleacher Report when discussing his contract situation. “We have to worry about Tee this year too, make sure bro gets his money. And on the other hand, I gotta wait for other receivers like CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson to get paid, too.”

All of this essentially puts the Jaguars at a crossroads.

Keep Ridley, and the team doesn’t draft in the second round. Let Ridley walk, and you essentially wasted a third round pick and potentially can still miss on someone like Higgins.

With the NFL Draft looming as well, and many experts thinking the Jags opt to draft a receiver, there are a whole host of ways the team can handle this.

Only by this time next year will anyone know if they made the right choice.

Jags fans ... do you want to see Tee in teal?