WR Tee Higgins Expects To Play For Bengals In 2024

Bengals veteran wide receiver Tee Higgins has had an interesting offseason so far. Despite a number of headlines over the past couple of months that seem to point to an exit out of Cincinnati for the 25-year-old, Higgins gave a soundbite today that appeared to insinuate quite the opposite. Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team provided footage of Higgins telling the media that he anticipates playing with the Bengals in the 2024 NFL season.

After hearing for much of the 2023 season that the team wanted to reach a new extension with Higgins, the Bengals opened the offseason by applying the franchise tag to their No. 2 receiver. The Clemson-product didn’t respond well to the tagging, eventually opting to request a trade about two weeks later. Cincinnati responded a few days after, declaring that they had no intentions of honoring Higgins’ request and planned to keep him.

Despite these intentions, we heard earlier today that there had been no discussions yet between the Bengals and Higgins concerning a new contract. Out of nine players who received the franchise tag to start the offseason, only Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and Higgins remained unsigned to new contracts. While Tampa Bay appears optimistic about their chances to extend Winfield, we haven’t gotten any such indications from Cincinnati.

Higgins’ interview today provided us with the best view into the situation we’ve seen yet. The team has been trying (and failing) to reach agreeable terms on a long-term deal with Higgins for the past two years, so it makes sense that Higgins is able to take this stalemate in stride. The two side still have until 4PM ET on July 15 to reach a long-term deal, but if that doesn’t occur, Higgins will still be sure to receive a fully guaranteed one-year, $21.8MM contract by signing the franchise tag.

The team would do well to get a new deal done with Higgins sooner rather than later, though. The Bengals will soon be opening up extension talks with star wideout Ja’Marr Chase, and another young star, Justin Jefferson in Minnesota, will likely work alongside Chase to completely reset the market at receiver. Even if it means spending a little more than desired, Cincinnati could save some money by making sure to extend Higgins before the market for receivers inflates.

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