Bengals Fans Will Not Like This Massive Tee Higgins Update

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
NFL Analysis Network

The Cincinnati Bengals are currently at odds with Tee Higgins as a result of placing a franchise tag on him earlier this offseason.

The move prevented Higgins from reaching free agency and, in turn, resulted in the star wide receiver requesting a trade.

Higgins later backed off of his trade stance and said that he expects to play for the Bengals in 2024, but he has yet to sign his $21.8 million franchise tender and is not eligible to participate in organized team activities because of it.

Cincinnati has until mid-July to strike a long-term pact with Higgins, but it’s looking less and less likely, especially after the update that ESPN’s Todd Archer released on Wednesday.

Apparently, the Bengals have not held any sort of contract talks with Higgins in over a year, which speaks to the disconnect between the two sides.

Tee Higgins Will Probably Play Elsewhere In 2025

Here’s the thing with Higgins: he will almost certainly sign his franchise tender at some point this offseason. It seems hard to imagine him sitting out all of 2024.

The Bengals also do not have to trade him, and they probably won’t.

More than likely, Higgins will play out the 2024 campaign on a one-year deal and then take his talents elsewhere in free agency next offseason.

Cincinnati is just three seasons removed from playing in the Super Bowl, and so long as Joe Burrow stays healthy this year, it will be a championship contender once again.

Trading Higgins would obviously inhibit the Bengals’ chance of making a deep playoff run, so it would behoove them to hold on to him at least through this coming season.

It’s important to note that Cincy also has to worry about paying fellow receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who became eligible for a contract extension this offseason and has been skipping voluntary workouts.

Given the fact that Burrow is already making $55 million annually, it seems hard to envision the Bengals paying two receivers big money over an extended period of time. They will absolutely prioritize Chase—their No. 1 wide out—over Higgins, which means that Higgins will probably be the odd man out next March.

Right now, though, Higgins and Cincinnati can only focus on the present. Based on the Bengals’ history with applying franchise tags since 2013, Higgins is going to be waiting a while for a long-term deal. Cincy has used the tag three times over that period, and not once has it ended in a long-term pact.

Taking that into consideration, Higgins may as well sign his tender. Again, he isn’t sitting out next season. Not in a contract year, especially.

The 25-year-old has a bright future ahead of him and will be handsomely compensated for it in free agency next spring. He just needs to have some patience, because the chances of a contract extension surfacing in Cincinnati seem very slim.

Tee Higgins posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns in 2021 and 2022. He caught 42 passes for 656 yards and five touchdowns in an injury-plagued 2023.

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