- Tee Higgins recorded 42 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns in 2023
- In Week 16, Higgins had a season-high 140 receiving yards against the Steelers.
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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins will return for the 2024 NFL season.
On Friday, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Bengals plan to use their franchise tag on the 25-year-old. Rapoport added that Higgins’ franchise tag number is expected to be about $21.8 million, fully guaranteed.
The deadline for Cincinnati to sign him to a long-term contract is March 5 and Higgins will be the first franchise player this offseason.
Despite having to battle a fractured rib, hamstring and ankle injuries last season, Higgins proved to be a reliable target for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Cincinnati’s offense began to be built around them and three-time Pro Bowler Ja’Marr Chase playing parallel to Higgins.
The Bengals drafted Higgins out of Clemson in 2020 and he is now entering his fifth season in Cincinnati. In 12 appearances last season, Higgins had 42 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns.
Tee Higgins to return to Cincinnati in 2024 as Bengals use $21.8M franchise tag
Higgins proved to be a reliable target for quarterback Joe Burrow along with Ja’Marr Chase.
Higgins had 42 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games last season.
Higgins was part of the Bengals’ historic 2021 season when the team won its first AFC title since 2015 by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite coming up short against the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, the young core of Burrow, Chase, Higgins and Joe Mixon was on full display throughout their career.
Although the Bengals missed the playoffs in the 2023 season, their 9-8 record gave head coach Zac Taylor his third consecutive year above .500. He and the team did it despite injuries to key offensive players.
Burrow was ruled out in November with a torn ligament in his right wrist. With his franchise quarterback sidelined, Jake Browning finished the rest of the season and went 4-3 as a starter.
With Browning facilitating the offense, Higgins recorded a season-high 140 receiving yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16.
Shortly after their season ended, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin expressed interest in bringing Higgins back in 2024. With his franchise tag, Cincinnati’s young core remains intact for at least a season more.
“We’ll see what happens this year,” Tobin said in January. ‘I want Tee Higgins to come back. Everyone on our team would like to have Tee Higgins back. Again, there is a pie and how big the slice is and what else we can’t do about it, we’ll have to determine and we’ll see.’