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Bengals use franchise tag for wideout Tee Higgins

The Cincinnati Bengals have applied the franchise tag to impending free agent wide receiver Tee Higgins, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

What It Means:

The franchise tag will keep Higgins with the Bengals through the 2024 season on paper, though this does not currently seem like the end point for contract talks between the stud receiver and the team that drafted him. Using the tag now gives Cincinnati extra time to work out a potential contract extension or, if the two sides cannot come to an agreement, the flexibility to trade Higgins to another team.

Higgins dealt with injuries of his own as well as injuries to his starting quarterback (Joe Burrow) in 2023, finishing the season with 42 catches for 656 yards and 5 scores on 76 targets. He could be a hot name in trade talks during the summer if Cincinnati opts to go that route, though the receiver himself expressed a desire to remain with the team.