Bengals fans react as Tee Higgins signs franchise tag - "Cheapest franchise alive" "Pay this man"

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans

Tee Higgins will remain a Cincinnati Bengal in 2024 after weeks of speculation. But not everyone is happy.

On Saturday, Cincinnati Enquirer's Kelsey Conway reported the incoming fifth-year WR would sign the franchise tag applied to him shortly after last season ended. Both sides now have until July 15 to agree on a long-term extension; otherwise, he will earn only $21.8 million for 2024-25 and then become a free agent again.

Fans had mixed reactions on X to the news:

"WE BACK BABY," one fan tweeted on X

More of the divisiveness can be seen below:

"He gave in," one detractor tweeted.
"Not gonna hold out?" Another tweeted.
"Good for him," a fan tweeted.

What signing franchise tag means for Tee Higgins, Bengals

Those expecting Tee Higgins to hold out for a bigger, longer-lasting extension may feel disappointed at the news. However, his battle is only partially done.

During the Bengals' mandatory minicamp, coach Zac Taylor made an unintended dig at his WR2 when asked about teammate Ja'Marr Chase's practice form:

"You see there are still guys that aren’t always there, and (Chase) showed up and did everything that we talked about him doing.”

With Higgins finally on board, it is up to unofficial general manager Duke Tobin to decide what the extension will look like. Chase is eligible for one, and Joe Burrow will begin his extension in 2025.

Atlanta Falcons safety Jessie Bates, who began his career at Cincinnati, believes the 2020 33rd overall pick should consistently play well to get an extension.

"My thing for Tee is just, I mean, work on your craft, it don't matter. If this is the contract year, I say it every time: Every year is a contract year. You should go out there and ball out and train like this is one of your last years to play," he told ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

But whether or not Higgins eventually extends, the Bengals can confidently say that that have resolved their WR2 situation. With eight-season veteran Tyler Boyd having left for the Tennessee Titans in free agency, it was imperative for them to keep their positional depth behing Chase strong.

WR3 is now their new main problem. However, a possible solution may be moving to two tight-end sets, with free-agent acquisition Mike Gesicki becoming the tertiary pass-catcher to complement Drew Sample's blocking abilities.

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Edited by Abhimanyu Gupta
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