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Bengals’ Tee Higgins to sign franchise tag as star wide receiver ends holdout, per report

Tee Higgins‘ holdout with the Cincinnati Bengals appears to be reaching its end. The star wide receiver is signing his franchise tag on Saturday and is expected to be at training camp, according to ESPN. Higgins had been away from the team and did not attend mandatory minicamp as he currently seeks a contract extension. While this does end his holdout, this latest report also relays that the two sides agreeing on a long-term deal is considered a long shot.ย 

The Bengals placed the franchise tag on Higgins in late February, holding the 25-year-old from hitting the open market in free agency. Under the tag, Higgins will make $21.816 million fully guaranteed for the 2024 season.ย 

This turn of events has become somewhat common for the Bengals in recent seasons. After Higgins was tagged, it led to a trade request, which was not granted by the team and ultimately led to him signing his tender. That is a similar circumstance to prior Bengals players like safety Jessie Bates III and offensive tackle Jonah Williams. Bates’ situation somewhat mirrored Higgins’ as he was tagged by Cincinnati in 2022, which led to speculation about a possible trade. In the end, he signed the tag and played that season before departing in free agency. As for Williams, he requested a trade last offseason, but ended up staying with the team and played out the year before also leaving in free agency earlier this offseason.ย 

Of course, it remains to be seen if Higgins will follow down a similar path and ultimately leave the franchise, but it will be curious to see how Cincinnati handles his future, especially with the looming contract extension coming for fellow receiver Ja’Marr Chase.ย 

Higgins has spent his entire career with the Bengals after the franchise drafted him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Clemson. In that time, he’s established himself as a top-tier pass catcher that should fetch him a considerable contract whenever he does reach free agency in the not-too-distant future. In his four seasons in the league, Higgins has topped 1,000 yards receiving twice and has scored at least five touchdowns in each season.ย 

Last year, Higgins was limited to 12 games due to a nagging hamstring injury. He finished the year with 656 yards and five touchdowns on 42 receptions.ย 

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Author: Tyler Sullivan
June 15, 2024 | 12:15 pm

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