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Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase are not present at OTAs as both Cincinnati Bengals wideouts are pursuing new contracts. While their absences are generating headlines, head coach Zac Taylor doesn't think it'll have a negative impact on Joe Burrow and the offense when the regular season begins. 

"No, I think that they'll get the work in at the necessary time," Taylor said of Chase and Higgins, via CLNS Media. "And, please, we have a high turnout for voluntary workouts. I told the guys, I understand that it's voluntary. I appreciate them showing up. The guys that don't are still working hard elsewhere, and they'll be back at the right time. 

"And 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." 

Higgins' absence from OTAs was all but guaranteed after the Bengals placed the franchise tag on him instead of extending his contract. The general consensus is that Higgins will play this season under the tag and become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. 

Tee Higgins
CIN • WR • #5
REC YDs656
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Chase, however, is expected to be offered a lucrative contract extension by the Bengals, who are two years removed from back-to-back AFC Championship appearances. But Chase (who is entering the final year of his rookie contract) apparently wants an extension sooner rather than later. 

Ja'Marr Chase
CIN • WR • #1
REC YDs1216
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As Taylor alluded to, the Bengals -- more specifically Burrow -- is familiar with both Higgins and Chase. While their participation at OTAs would be welcome, their absences has given Burrow more opportunities to work with some of his new teammates, including rookie wideout Jermaine Burton, veteran tight end Mike Gesicki and former Colts running back Zack Moss. This should lead to more overall cohesion from the rest of unit when Higgins and Chase rejoin the group during training camp. 

The Bengals are hoping to make the most of their current core of skill players while they still have them all under contract. That obviously includes Higgins, who can strengthen his market value next offseason by having a solid 2024 campaign in Cincinnati.