Rashard Higgins has spent five seasons with the Cleveland Browns. While he has been a complementary piece, he hit a career-high in yards last season with 599, despite missing three games. Higgins will now enter free agency. Would he be worth a look from the Chicago Bears?
What is the projected contract for Rashard Higgins in free agency?
There is a consensus that Rashard Higgins will see about $4-6 million on an open market. Over the cap has him valued closer to four, while Spotrac has Higgins seeing $6 million in free agency. PFF has him in the middle at $5 million per season.
With Allen Robinson potentially leaving via free agency and Anthony Miller untrustworthy, is Higgins worth a look at a cheap cost?
Chicago Bears should sign Rashard Higgins in free agency
Yes, Higgins has played two more NFL seasons than Anthony Miller. Still, they were born just two days apart. Higgins is two days older and has more experience, but he has more career receiving yards than Miller despite fewer targets in the NFL than Miller. Miller has 215 targets and 1,564 yards, Higgins has 1,615 yards on 178 targets. Higgins just needs to play more.
To further back this up he posted 2.05 yards per route run in 2020 to the 1.12 of Miller, per PFF. To be fair, Higgins had an abysmal 2019 that featured an injury, and a worse YPRR than Miller. Still, in 2018, Higgins was healthy and had 1.8 yards per route run to 1.17 for Miller.
When Higgins has been healthy, he has been better and he is the same age. Beyond that, while Higgins can play the slot, he has moved around and has had success in and out of the slot.
The Bears are not going to extend Miller and may just move on this offseason anyways. The Bears would spend a little more for Higgins than Miller in 2021 but would have an upgrade at a better cost in 2022.
Chicago Bears should pass on Rashard Higgins in free agency
It is a little alarming that in two more seasons, he has fewer targets and routes run than Miller, despite more yards. That shows a player that is not getting on the field and not staying healthy. He is a great depth asset, and maybe a slight upgrade from Miller, but the team would only save $1.4 million moving on from Miller, so they would still be paying about $3 million to upgrade.
Higgins should be viewed as more of a depth option and a luxury receiver, and not an answer for a team that is cash strapped and struggling to find play-making wide receivers.
Higgins is reliable, but not explosive, and for the money, does not change the Bears enough to use their limited assets on.