Bengals Face Tough Decision: Keep Tee Higgins or Let Him Walk in Free Agency

Bengals Expected to Use Franchise Tag on Tee Higgins, Report Says

The Bengals have several options to keep wide receiver Tee Higgins from becoming a free agent when the new league year starts in March. They can sign him to a long-term deal or they can use a franchise tag to keep him from hitting the open market. Using the franchise tag would extend the time to negotiate a new deal until mid-July. This gives Higgins the ability to choose whether to sit out or play the 2024 season with a guaranteed salary that is projected to be $20.7 million if no deal is reached.

According to Paul Dehner of, it is expected that the team will use the franchise tag on Higgins. He notes that the team has the cap space to carry that salary in the 2024 season and that Joe Burrow’s cap number remains relatively low in 2024 before jumping up by nearly $20 million in 2025. Additionally, Dehner suggests that the overall makeup of the wide receiver market might make it advantageous for Higgins to wait on signing a multi-year deal. With other receivers like Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk, Michael Pittman Jr., and fellow Bengal Ja’Marr Chase closing in on new deals, Higgins could benefit from a reset market by moving for a longer deal at some point in the future.

It’s important for Bengals fans to note that any franchise tags must be issued by March 5th, so there will be clarity on their plans regarding Tee Higgins soon.

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