The 2021 NFL season will be the last in which Tee Higgins will wear the No.85.
The Bengals receiver announced on a recent episode of Pro Football Focus’s “Fantasy Football Podcast” that he would change his number. Why? Because he’s tired of being compared to legendary Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who was affectionately known as “Ochocinco” during his playing days.
“I keep seeing ‘Ochocinco 2.0’ on Twitter,” said Higgins, transcribed by Ben Baby of ESPN. “I don’t want to be a 2.0. No disrespecting Chad. He’s a great receiver, this and that. I just don’t want to be a 2.0 to myself, man. I want to be Tee Higgins, 1.0, no. 5. “
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Number 5 is the jersey Higgins wore in Clemson. It makes sense for him to switch to this number, which is now open to receivers thanks to the NFL’s new uniform number policy.
That said, Higgins won’t make the change mid-season. He would have to buy the remaining inventory of his No.85 jerseys if he wanted to, which seems prohibitive even for a man with a four-year, $ 8.5 million contract.
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Higgins also noted that changing his number would open the door for the Bengals to withdraw the No.85 shirt.
“I feel like Chad has done so much for this organization,” Higgins said. “I just have a good feeling her number is going to be up someday.”
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Johnson spent a decade with the Bengals from 2001 to 2010. He played seven 1,000-yard seasons during that span and was named twice to the AP’s All-Pro First Team. He’s Cincinnati’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 10,783 and touchdowns with 65.
Higgins will have a long way to go before reaching this territory, but he’s off to a good start. The Bengals’ second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has recorded 71 catches for 966 yards and seven touchdowns in 17 career games.