Tee Higgins anticipates playing for Bengals this season


After the Bengals placed the franchise tag on receiver Tee Higgins, he requested a trade. A month later, nothing has changed.

Higgins, though, said Sunday that he expects to play for the Bengals this season.

I do anticipate it,” Higgins said, via video from Charlie Clifford of WXIX-TV. “I’ve grown a love for Cincinnati that I didn’t think I would. [I’m] looking forward to it.”

Higgins and the Bengals have talked for two years without coming to terms on a long-term deal. They have until 4 p.m. ET on July 15 to negotiate a new deal.

The one-year, fully guaranteed franchise tag will pay Higgins $21.8 million.

Safety Jessie Bates played 2022 on the franchise tag before leaving for a four-year, $64.02 million deal with the Falcons in the 2023 offseason. He earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time last season.

Eight teams used the franchise tag this offseason, and Higgins and Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. are the only players yet to sign a contract extension.

Higgins, 25, played 12 games last season, missing four games with a fractured rib and then Week 18 with a hamstring issue. He caught 42 passes for 656 yards and five touchdowns, all career lows.

Higgins had 1,000-yard seasons in 2021 and 2022 and has 257 catches for 3,684 yards and 24 touchdowns in his four seasons in Cincinnati, which made him a second-round pick in 2020.



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