Commanders urged to maximize Jayden Daniels' contract with Tee Higgins trade

Could Adam Peters swing for the fences?
Tee Higgins
Tee Higgins / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Adam Peters displayed ruthless aggressiveness to get the Washington Commanders roster more competitive this offseason. Fans should expect this trend to continue throughout the summer and during the new general manager's ambitious long-term plans.

It's going to take time. Nobody is under any illusions about the size of Peters' ongoing task. However, the Commanders have a rookie quarterback contract to build around after taking Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. Maximizing this window is crucial.

Peters knows the benefit of having a cheap deal to mold other areas of the roster.

The San Francisco 49ers benefitted from this greatly when Brock Purdy emerged as a viable starting option after being the final college prospect selected in the 2022 draft. This freedom enabled the Niners to tie down key players to long-term deals, identify top-of-the-line free agents, and even make a few bold trades when the right opportunities presented themselves.

Commanders named among potential suitors for Tee Higgins

While the Commanders are far from San Francisco in terms of quality, Peters wants to adopt a similar method. Stabilizing the foundations was the first primary objective. After that, the respected front-office leader can begin to take risks.

This was a topic brought up by Maurice Moton from The Bleacher Report. He named the Commanders as a team that should take a swing at acquiring wide receiver Tee Higgins via trade from the Cincinnati Bengals. Considering the salary-cap space they have available and Daniels' rookie contract, they could also potentially offer him an extension immediately after the deal was confirmed in this scenario.

"The Washington Commanders have the second-most cap space with $43.4 million. They can allocate a chunk of that cap space to [Tee] Higgins' new contract with the intent to do everything possible to help Jayden Daniels get off to a quick career start. Washington can afford to be aggressive in acquiring playmakers while Daniels is on a rookie deal. With this trade, it would have a deep receiver group that includes Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, rookie third-rounder Luke McCaffrey and Higgins. As a rebuilding team, Washington's own 2025 draft picks may be early in each round, which is something the Cincinnati Bengals should consider if they open up trade discussions that involve Higgins."

Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report

There's no doubt someone of Higgins' qualities could help the Commanders and assist Daniels take the league by storm. He's growing increasingly frustrated with the Bengals - especially considering how other wide receivers around the league are being paid handsomely. That said, it would be a bombshell of epic proportions if the Commanders went down this route.

Giving up second and fourth-round selections leaves the Commanders with just four selections during the 2025 NFL Draft. Peters wants to build through the college selection process, so sacrificing additional capital for Higgins might not enter his train of thought despite the obvious benefits attached.

Once the Commanders added Higgins - which does seem unlikely - paying him accordingly won't be cheap. Spotrac projected the former Clemson star's market value at $19.7 million per season on a five-year, $98.56 million deal. Washington already has plenty of cash tied up in Terry McLaurin, so this would jeopardize their chances of becoming a complete roster.

In an ideal world, Daniels will propel himself to superstardom and the Commanders get three years to build the correct roster around the signal-caller before he becomes extension-eligible. Trading for Higgins - who looks like a genuine No. 1 option - would certainly help. Whether it's something Peters legitimately considers is another matter.

This doesn't look like the sort of move the Commanders would consider at this stage of Peters' rebuild. But if the Bengals become more receptive to offers, it could provoke a discussion between those in power.

Time will tell…