Tee Higgins sends crystal clear message regarding his future with Bengals

Fans in Cincinnati will want to hear this.
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Tee Higgins requested a trade away from the Cincinnati Bengals at the onset of free agency, and he's been a no-show at OTAs, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to remain in Cincinnati long-term. In fact, the opposite is true.

Higgins' trade request stemmed from a lack of movement on a long-term extension with the Bengals, and that's still the ultimate outcome that the receiver is looking for.

“As far as coming back, I would love to come back,” Higgins said on a recent podcast appearance. “I grew as a man in the past four years here. Grew as a player, made — got good new friendships. Great relationships with people not in the facility, in the City of Cincinnati, the fans are great. So I would definitely love to be here. But if that’s not the situation, then that’s not the situation.”

Higgins has previously stated that he expects to play for the Bengals in 2024.

"I do anticipate it," Higgins said last month. "I've grown a love for Cincinnati that I didn't think I would. [I'm] looking forward to it."

Circle July 15 on the calendar

When it comes to Higgins' future with the Bengals, there's one key date to circle on the calendar, and that's July 15. That's the deadline for Higgins and the Bengals to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. If no deal is reached by that date, Higgins could become eligible for free agency next offseason.

It seems unlikely that the two sides will come to an agreement before then, but hey, crazier things have happened. That's still well over a month for the sides to pull up chairs at the negotiating table, so perhaps they'll be able work things out. If not, there's a real possibility that 2024 will be Higgins' last season in Cincinnati.