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Report: Bengals to franchise tag Higgins

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The Cincinnati Bengals informed wide receiver Tee Higgins that they'll franchise tag him, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The wide receiver tag value for 2024 is expected to be $21.8 million fully guaranteed, Rapoport adds. Higgins is the first player reported to be receiving the franchise-tag designation.

Higgins has served as a vital No. 2 wide receiver in Cincinnati's offense alongside wideout Ja'Marr Chase. The 25-year-old exceeded 1,000 receiving yards in 2021 and 2022 while combining for 13 touchdowns.

However, Higgins is coming off a down year in which he was limited to just 12 games. The former second-round pick posted career lows in receptions (42) and receiving yards (656) in 2023.

The Bengals have prioritized retaining key members of their offense after the franchise signed quarterback Joe Burrow to a five-year, $275-million extension last year. In addition to addressing Higgins' long-term future, Chase is eligible for an extension this offseason.

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