Bengals offseason plan for Tee Higgins revealed

Higgins' future in Cincinnati has been a hot topic in recenet months.
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

There has been some serious speculation regarding what the Cincinnati Bengals plan to do with wide receiver Tee Higgins now that his rookie contract is up. Now, we might finally have an answer.

The Bengals are expected to use the franchise tag on Higgins, as opposed to just losing him for nothing. But, Cincinnati also still hopes to sign him to an extension, 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."

Joe Burrow wants Higgins to remain in Cincinnati long-term

Higgins has become a top target of quarterback Joe Burrow over the pair's past four seasons together. As a result, Burrow is hopeful that the Bengals lock him up for the long haul.

"It's no secret, our relationship," Burrow said of Higgins last month. "I expect Tee to be back. I think that's the sentiment in the locker room. We all want Tee back. . . . We know what kind of player he is. We know what kind of person he is. He's what being a Bengal is all about."

Given Higgins' extremely productive play, it's no wonder that Burrow hopes to continue to have him as an option on the outside. In his first four seasons, Higgins had 257 receptions for 3,684 yards and 24 touchdowns on an average of 14.3 yards per reception.

If Higgins, 25, was made available he would have no shortage of suitors, but it sure sounds like the Bengals are intent on keeping him in Cincinnati. The increase in the NFL's salary cap for the upcoming season should help them out in that regard.