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Bengals' Tee Higgins Trade Request: Patriots Interested?

With Tee Higgins requesting a trade, could the New England Patriots swoop in to trade for the Cincinnati Bengals receiver?

The New England Patriots are looking to re-tool one of the worst offenses in football this offseason.

That makeover is already underway after re-signing receiver Kendrick Bourne to a three-year, $33 million deal, cutting receiver DeVante Parker, and they're reportedly looking to cut receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Could a No. 1 receiver be on the way to New England to fix what was one of the worst offenses in football? 

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins has reportedly requested a trade after they haven't agreed on a long-term contract. The 6-foot-4 receiver was set to be a free agent this offseason, but he was franchise-tagged by Cincinnati. 

Tee Higgins (85) makes a one-handed catch.

Tee Higgins (85) makes a one-handed catch.

With Ja'Marr Chase eligible for a new contract, keeping both receivers will prove difficult for the Bengals. Chase has turned into one of the best receivers in football with over 1,000 receiver yards and seven touchdowns in each of his first three seasons, while Higgins had over 900 receiver yards and at least six touchdowns in his first three seasons. 

If Cincinnati chooses to oblige with Higgins' trade request, New England is one of the few teams in a position to give up good draft picks and give him the contract he desires. Whether he wants to go to the Patriots is another aspect of a potential trade. 

If the Bengals decided to do right by Higgins and send him to a team he wants to play for, the Patriots' current situation on offense leaves plenty to be desired. They're still without a starting quarterback and have holes along the offensive line. That is unattractive for a potential No. 1 receiver who could have options to choose from. 

With the second-most cap space and the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft, the Patriots could quickly turn themselves into a more attractive destination by shoring up the offensive line and taking a quarterback. Addressing both needs can put them in play for a receiver the caliber of Higgins. 

New England was 30th in total yards per game (276.2) and 28th in passing yards per game (180.5). The Patriots also allowed 48 sacks, the ninth-most in the league. If they want to have any hope of turning the offense around next season, they have to be able to throw the ball down the field, and Higgins could be the perfect receiver to fix those woes. 

If Higgins is available to be traded for, the Patriots have to kick the tires. Last year was marred by issues with their receivers' inability to get open, which helped make an already bad quarterback situation even worse. Not only can Higgins get open, but he's also one of the best at making contested catches. 

The Patriots are more than a good receiver away from fixing their offense, but if they can get the other pieces they need, landing Higgins would be a home run and go a long way toward fixing a unit that held them back all of last season.