Ja’Marr Chase Attending Bengals’ Minicamp

Ja’Marr Chase is among the wideouts eligible for a new deal who elected to remain absent from his team’s OTAs. The Bengals Pro Bowler is in attendance for Cincinnati’s mandatory minicamp, however.

The likes of CeeDee Lamb (Cowboys) and Brandon Aiyuk (49ers) have set themselves up for fines by choosing to skip out on minicamp, but Chase has elected to take the opposite route. The latter, to little surprise, chose to wait for Justin Jefferson to sign his Vikings extension before taking part in serious Bengals negotiations. With his former LSU teammate having reset the market, Chase can now proceed on that front.

Cincinnati has a pair of key decisions to make at the receiver position, of course, with Tee Higgins on track to play under the franchise tag. He has not taken part in extension talks for over a year, though, leading to serious questions about his long-term Bengals future. Regardless of if Higgins is retained beyond 2024, Chase will no doubt be a central figure in the team’s long-term plans. The 24-year-old is on the books through 2025 via the fifth-year option.

The Jefferson accord (carrying an historic AAV of $35MM) includes higher guarantees than Chase’s camp expected. It should help the bargaining power of all ascending wideouts around the league, and Chase is among those with the production to warrant a similar deal to Jefferson’s. Cincinnati has enjoyed the Chase-Higgins duo for the past three years, but a major investment to coincide with the one made in Joe Burrow will be needed to keep it intact.

The Bengals are not known for making long-term investments featuring guaranteed money deep into the pact, but that should be required to hammer out a Chase deal. Talks can take place now that he is back with the team, although it would be surprising if an agreement was reached any earlier than training camp next month.

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