Bengals Use Franchise Tag On Tee Higgins

The Bengals kicked off their offseason with a significant move, opting to apply the franchise tag to wide receiver Tee Higgins.

This move secures Higgins’ presence on the team for at least another season. Unless a long-term deal is reached between the two parties before July 15, Higgins will be bound to a one-year contract with the Bengals — valued at $21.816 million, which is the designated franchise tag amount for wide receivers across the league in 2024.

Teams have until March 5 to utilize the franchise or transition tag.

Higgins, a second-round pick in 2020, was poised to enter free agency following the expiration of his rookie contract with Cincinnati. Throughout his initial four seasons with the team, he amassed 257 receptions, totaling 3,684 yards and 24 touchdowns. Across seven playoff games, Higgins has 31 receptions for 457 yards and three touchdowns.

“Tee has done an outstanding job for us since we drafted him in 2020,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “I’m glad that he’ll continue to be a big part of our offense and our team.”

For the second offseason in a row, Tee Higgins’ future with the Bengals has been a hot topic. During last year’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Bengals executive Duke Tobin dismissed any notion of trading Higgins.

Despite Tobin’s comments, negotiations for a long-term extension fell through before Higgins entered the final year of his existing contract. Hindered by injuries, Higgins’ 2023 season was limited to just 12 games. Overall, he finished with 42 receptions, 656 yards, and five touchdowns. Both publicly and privately, Higgins has expressed his commitment to staying in Cincinnati for the long haul. However, with quarterback Joe Burrow signing a five-year contract extension worth $275 million last year and Ja’Marr Chase looking for a huge contract as well, Higgins may have to look elsewhere for top dollar.