Decision Made On Tee Higgins' Future With Bengals

By Jason Hall

February 26, 2024

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
Photo: Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have officially applied the franchise tag to wide receiver Tee Higgins, days after notifying him of their intention to do so, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday (February 26).

"The franchise tag has now officially been applied to #Bengals WR Tee Higgins, source said," Rapoport wrote on his X account.

Higgins, 25, a former second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is reportedly expected to be paid around $21.8 million for the 2024 season as part of the franchise tag, though it could prove to instead be a placeholder for the Bengals to negotiate a long-term extension before the mid-July deadline. Cincinnati could also trade Higgins, who was expected to be the prized wide receiver free agent this offseason.

The Tennessee native was expected to be a target for several teams needing a No. 1 option at wide receiver -- having started opposite primary wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase during the past three seasons -- including the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, which would've reunited him quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne Jr., his former college teammates at Clemson. Higgins appeared in just 11 games in 2023 due to rib and hamstring injuries, but was once again productive, recording 42 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns during his fourth NFL season.

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