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Bengals 1,000-Yard Receiver To Skip OTAs, Hasn’t Signed Franchise Tag

The back-and-forth between Tee Higgins and the Cincinnati Bengals isn't over. The receiver hasn't signed his tag and won't report for OTAs.
tee higgins

It’s been a tumultuous offseason for the Cincinnati Bengals and Tee Higgins. From the reports that the two sides didn’t meet for an extended period of time to the reports that the team lowballed the superstar, this move is not surprising. Considering Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are optional, and Higgins is without a long-term contract, the likelihood he would participate is low.

Considering he has yet to sign his Franchise Tag, Higgins couldn’t attend even if he wanted to. As it stands, Higgins is the only Franchise-Tagged player left in the NFL without a long-term deal. This whole situation is reminiscent of the Jessie Bates III debacle. Considering David Mulugheta represents both, it’s becoming a trend.

Tee Higgins to Skip OTAs, Has Not Yet Signed Franchise Tender

To this point, Higgins has been one of the top receivers in the NFL and has had to play in the shadow of Ja’Marr Chase over the last three seasons.

As a rookie in 2020, Higgins broke out with A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd also garnering 100+ targets. Despite getting the fewest targets of the three, Higgins led the team with 907 yards and six touchdowns. Then, the team used the fifth-overall pick on Chase and Higgins played even better. Over the next two seasons, Higgins posted 2,120 yards and 13 touchdowns with 148 receptions.

Last year, he battled injuries and amassed 656 yards and five touchdowns off of 76 receptions.

In 2021 when the Bengals made their run to the Super Bowl, Higgins stepped up in a massive way. Across the four games, he accounted for 309 yards and two touchdowns. If the team had won Super Bowl 56, his four-catch, 100-yard, two-touchdown performance would have had a solid argument for MVP. That was his second 100-yard postseason game and second consecutive.

In 2022, his playoff numbers were 148 yards and a touchdown off of 13 catches in three games.

If he hit the open market, Higgins was projected to earn quite the payday. Now, he will likely wait until the July 15 deadline to sign, barring a miracle one way or another.

Main Image:  Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports


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