Tee Higgins running out of time to reach an extension with Bengals

The deadline for Higgins to land a long-term deal with Cincinnati is rapidly approaching.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Star wide receiver Tee Higgins is running out of time to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Higgins played the first four seasons of his career as a member of the Bengals, and he's poised to play the upcoming 2024 season under the franchise tag. However, Higgins requested a trade out of Cincinnati earlier this year due to the lack of a long-term commitment from the franchise, and if he doesn't get one soon, the '24 season will likely be his last with the Bengals.

The July 15 deadline is rapidly approaching

When it comes to Higgins' future with the Bengals, the July 15 deadline is rapidly approaching. That date represents the final day for designated franchise players (like Higgins) to agree to a long-term extension. If no agreement is reached, Higgins will be headed for free agency next offseason, where he'll likely have no shortage of suitors given the premium placed on wide receivers in the league today.

So, will a deal get done? Probably not.

The Bengals have been hesitant to give Higgins a long-term deal, and that seems unlikely to change in the coming days. An impending mega-extension for fellow star wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is likely a big part of the reason why the team isn't eager to lock up Higgins. Doing so would mean that a whole lot of cap space will be allocated to two receivers, potentially at the expense of other positions.

The Bengals appear prepared to lose Higgins in free agency next year. Perhaps their selection of Jermaine Burton in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft was a proactive selection in light of Higgins' potential departure.

Perhaps the Bengals will ultimately change course. The Philadelphia Eagles, for example, are a team that just gave big money to two receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith this offseason, so maybe the Bengals will follow in their footsteps and pay both Chase and Higgins. Crazier things have happened.