It’s official. Tee Higgins and the Cincinnati Bengals will not continue discussing a contract extension for the rest of 2023.
According to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini and Paul Dehner Jr., the two sides will not attempt to negotiate a new deal now that the regular season has kicked off. They also report that Higgins is expected to become a free agent in the 2024 offseason unless the franchise tag is used.
While this has become the expectation over the last week, it’s still disappointing to see that Higgins now has to play out the final year of his rookie deal, leaving uncertainty as to where he will be next offseason.
Part of the issue here is the Bengals will soon have to work on getting a long-term extension done for Ja’Marr Chase, who can begin negotiating a new deal next offseason. Assuming he’s one of, if not the highest-paid NFL wide receiver once the deal is done, it would be very hard to also have Higgins on the roster while being one of the league’s top-paid receivers.
Here’s to hoping we get at least one more year of Higgins in 2024. The thought of letting him walk for nothing more than a third-round compensatory pick next year is a painful thought, to say the least.
In case there was any doubt, Higgins absolutely appreciates the support he’s received from Bengals fans, especially back in his rookie year when the team struggled to a 4-11-1 record during COVID. He lit up when talking about his experiences in Cincinnati during a recent interview with Pacman Jones. Watch below: