Tee Higgins becomes the inaugural recipient of the franchise tag this offseason.

Published February 24, 2024 at 10:51

Just hours after the NFL announced the $255.4 million salary cap for 2024, the Cincinnati Bengals wasted no time in utilizing the Franchise Tag, making Tee Higgins the first player to receive it this offseason.

With the Franchise Tag number set at $21.8 million for Higgins, the Bengals secured the services of the talented wide receiver for another year. Despite a slightly underwhelming season in 2023 compared to his previous performances, Higgins remains a crucial part of Cincinnati's offensive arsenal, especially alongside fellow standout receiver Ja'Marr Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow.

While the Bears weren't in contention for Higgins, this move highlights an interesting opportunity for Chicago to explore options in free agency. With the Bengals likely letting Tyler Boyd walk in free agency, Boyd could emerge as a cost-efficient option for the Bears. As an ideal WR3 who excels in the slot, Boyd could complement the Bears' offensive scheme, particularly under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, who favors three-receiver sets.

Although prioritizing Boyd as a free agent receiver isn't necessarily advocated, the Bears should remain open to bolstering their receiving corps in free agency. Currently, the Bears' wide receiver room consists of D.J. Moore, Tyler Scott, and Velus Jones Jr., indicating a need for reinforcements. Considering Boyd's projected contract of two years and $17.5 million with significant guarantees, he could be among the candidates worth considering.

While the Bears haven't utilized the Franchise Tag since 2021, tagging wide receiver Allen Robinson II, the possibility remains for them to tag cornerback Jaylon Johnson if an extension isn't reached by the March 5 deadline. More insights on Johnson's tag situation will be explored in the coming days. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your Friday night.

February 24   |   53 answers
Tee Higgins becomes the inaugural recipient of the franchise tag this offseason.

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