Bengals’ Tee Higgins is Desired by a Player Who Can’t Have Him

Bengals' Tee Higgins is Desired by a Player Who Can't Have Him

Among the many differences between the NFL and other major sports leagues, it’s the league where some pending free agents aren’t free agents at all. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is expected to experience this same reality.



Higgins’ rookie contract will expire in March, but the Bengals can also place the franchise tag on the 25-year old wideout. There has been interest on both sides to get a long-term deal done, but this is the most likely outcome for both sides.

If Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had it his way, Higgins would never see the tag in the first place.



Bengals' Tee Higgins is Desired by a Player Who Can't Have Him

Watson, who played in just six games for the Browns this past season and is under contract for three more years, expressed his desire to have the fellow former Clemson Tiger join him in Cleveland.



“We going to take care of you. Cleveland fans are going to love you, they’re going to love you to death,” Watson told Quincy Avery on their QB Unplugged podcast. “We got the Clemson ties, we didn’t get to play with each other but this is our opportunity.

“Come on over the Land.”

Watson left Clemson a year before Higgins made a name for himself, and both have experienced separate highs in the NFL. Watson was traded to the Browns two years after Higgins was drafted by the Bengals, though the two have only faced each other twice since then.



Bengals' Tee Higgins is Desired by a Player Who Can't Have Him

Watson and Higgins also share the same agent in David Mulugheta, which could also have an impact should Higgins reach the open market.

But not even Mulugheta can get in the way of what’s likely to happen with Higgins.



Cincinnati wants to keep Higgins in town, and the franchise tag is the easiest method of doing that. It gives the club more time to negotiate a long-term deal with the fifth-year player, and ensures he’ll be on the team for at least another year.

Higgins is the type of player the Bengals don’t let walk as soon as possible. Whenever he does hit the market, he’ll command a top contract according to A to Z Sports cap experts Josh Queipo and Kyle Dediminicantanio:



“Outside of [Mike] Evans, Higgins will be the most sought-after receiving option on the market for wide receiver-needy teams. And with the recent explosion in the valuation of the receiver market he will be able to lock in a contract well ahead of other recent “Robin’s” like Chris Godwin and Mike Williams.”

The story may be different next year, but to the disappointment of Watson, the Bengals aren’t going to let Higgins be his teammate in 2024.

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