Bengals WR Tee Higgins ready for Year 2 leap after A.J. Green's departure: 'Now's the time'

With A.J. Green heading to Arizona on a one-year, $8 million contract, the Cincinnati Bengals' receiver corps is ready to take the torch from the all-time great and run with it.

Following an impressive rookie season, wideout Tee Higgins said he's ready to fully take over Green's role on the outside. Alongside slot maven Tyler Boyd and dynamic running back Joe Mixon, the surrounding talent base is there for quarterback Joe Burrow, who is returning from an ACL injury.

"Like everybody has been saying, now's the time," Higgins said of replacing Green, via the team's official website. "And me and Joe and Tyler and Joe Mixon, we're just going to go out and be great and be who we are. About winning games for the Bengals."

Green, returning from injury, didn't perform at his Pro Bowl-level last season, catching just 47 passes for 523 yards and two TDs, his lowest output in any season in which he's played.

With Green struggling to return to form after missing all of 2019, it was Higgins and Boyd who led the way, displaying explosive playmaking and complementing one another. Higgins led the Bengals with 908 yards receiving and six TDs on 67 receptions, while Boyd corralled 79 passes for 841 yards and four TDs.

Higgins noted that a hamstring injury curtailed his production near the end of the season, holding him back from hitting the 1,000-yard plateau.

"I'm definitely ready. I've been overlooked, but that's fine with me," said Higgins, apparently still mindful he was the seventh receiver drafted. "I'm ready to go out there and be me and play my game.

"I think it would have been a great honor to break Cris Collinsworth's record and then get closer to 1,000 yards. That would have been a goal setter for me. I had a great season for a rookie. I hope I have a better second season than my rookie year."

Higgins has a chance to see his production skyrocket in 2021, particularly if Burrow returns to form following his injury.

The Bengals remain in the hunt for additions at receiver. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted that the club has a strong offer in on free-agent wideout Kenny Golladay, who is on a visit with the New York Giants.

Whether or not Cincy reels in a big fish like Golladay, the building blocks are there for the Bengals offense, with Higgins and Boyd as the pass-catching tandem.

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