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Bengals place franchise tag on receiver Tee Higgins

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals placed the franchise tag on receiver Tee Higgins, which likely will keep him with the team at least one more season, the team said Monday.

If the Bengals can’t reach a long-term agreement with the 25-year-old Higgins before July 15, he’ll play the 2024 season with the Bengals for a salary of $21.8 million, which is the franchise tag amount for receivers.

Higgins, a second-round draft pick in 2020, couldn’t reach a long-term deal before the final year of his rookie contract.

As the 2023 season was beginning, quarterback Joe Burrow signed a five-year contract extension worth $275 million. The Bengals are also expected to offer No. 1 receiver Ja’Marr Chase a lucrative long-term deal.

Higgins has played in 58 regular-season games for Cincinnati and has 257 receptions for 3,684 yards and 24 TDs. He had more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2021 and ’22, becoming one of five players in team history to reach that mark multiple times in his first three seasons.

“Tee has done an outstanding job for us since we drafted him in 2020,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “I’m glad that he’ll continue to be a big part of our offense and our team.”

Higgins’ production was down in 2023, mainly because he missed five games with injuries.

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