Bengals make Tee Higgins decision official

Higgins will be continuing his career in Cincinnati, for the time being.

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals made their decision regarding wide receiver Tee Higgins official, as the team announced that they have designated Higgins as a franchise player.

From the Bengals:

"The Bengals today designated WR Tee Higgins as the team's franchise player. 

"Higgins, who will be a fifth-year player in 2024, originally was a second-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2020. He has played in 53 career regular-season games (53 starts) for Cincinnati, and has 257 receptions for 3684 yards and 24 TDs. He recorded over 1000 receiving yards in 2021 and '22, becoming one of five players in team history to reach that mark multiple times in his first three seasons."

Higgins has been an extremely productive player over the first four years of his career in Cincinnati, and as a result Bengals coach Zac Taylor is happy that Higgins will continue to wear the orange-and-black.

"Tee has done an outstanding job for us since we drafted him in 2020," Taylor said in a statement. "I'm glad that he'll continue to be a big part of our offense and our team."

For what it's worth, the team using the franchise tag on Higgins doesn't necessarily mean that an extended deal won't get done, as Cincinnati still hopes to lock him up long-term, according to NFL insider Tony Pauline.

"Sources close to the Bengals tell me the team is trying to negotiate a contract extension with Higgins to lock him up for the next several years," Pauline wrote recently. "If the team cannot agree to terms with the wideout by March 5, they’ll tag him but continue to negotiate with the hopes of signing him long term before the start of the season."

At the least, Higgins will be continuing his career in Cincinnati next season, but it will be interesting to see if the team is ultimately able to come to terms on a longer extension with the receiver over the offseason.