Higgins expected to sign franchise tender with Bengals today, report says

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Tee Higgins isn’t leaving any more doubt about his intentions to play for the Cincinnati Bengals this season.

The fifth-year wide receiver was set to sign his franchise tender Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and is expected to participate in training camp after missing the Bengals’ offseason workout program in its entirety.

Cincinnati concluded its offseason this week with a three-day mandatory minicamp. Because Higgins had not signed his tender before OTAs, he was not even eligible to participate.

Quarterback Joe Burrow said this week he has remained in contact with Higgins throughout the offseason, and he was not concerned by the receiver’s absence during OTAs.

“Tee and I are always talking,” Burrow said. “I’ve seen Tee several times this offseason. He looks great. Whenever he’s ready to come back, I’ll be excited to see him.”

Higgins had requested a trade earlier this year after the Bengals made the decision to use the franchise tag on him but he was always expected to play this season. It was just a matter of when he would sign the tag, which now guarantees him $21.8 million in 2024.

The Bengals and Higgins have until July 15 to reach a long-term extension but that is still considered unlikely. The two sides haven’t discussed an extension in more than a year, according to multiple reports.

Of the eight players who were given the franchise tag this offseason, Higgins is the only one to not have signed a multiyear contract. A 2020 second-round draft pick out of Clemson, Higgins has been a key cog in the Bengals’ offense, although he was limited by rib and hamstring injuries last year.

He played in just 12 games and finished with 656 yards and five touchdowns on 42 catches.

In his first four seasons, Higgins totaled 3,684 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns.

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