The Bengals have a decision to make with wide receiver Tee Higgins, who is set to become a free agent in March. The team has options to keep him, including signing him to a long-term deal or using a franchise tag to extend negotiations into mid-July. If no deal is reached, Higgins has the option to sit out or play with a guaranteed salary of $20.7 million in 2024.
According to TheAthletic.com, the Bengals are expected to use the franchise tag on Higgins. They have the cap space to carry that salary in 2024, and Joe Burrow’s cap number remains relatively low before increasing significantly in 2025. Additionally, the wide receiver market’s overall makeup might benefit Higgins by waiting for a reset market to sign a multi-year deal.
With tags needing to be issued by March 5, the Bengals’ plans will become clear in the near future. The team has the ability to keep Higgins from hitting the open market, and it looks like they plan to take advantage of that opportunity.
The Bengals have been successful with their draft picks and trades over the past few years, but keeping their top talent is crucial for their continued success as a team.
Higgins has been one of Cincinnati’s most dynamic players since his rookie year in 2019, leading the league in receiving yards twice and scoring nine touchdowns last season alone.
If he decides not to play next season without a contract extension or franchise tag, it would be a significant blow for Cincinnati’s offense and potentially open up more cap space for other positions.
Overall, it’s important for both sides of this negotiation table – Higgins and the Bengals – to come together soon and agree on terms that will allow them both to continue thriving in Cincinnati’s football scene for years