Former Bengals safety Jessie Bates comments on Tee Higgins’ situation

Cincinnati Bengals fans are undoubtedly having deja vu right about now.

As expected, franchise-tagged wideout Tee Higgins won’t attend OTAs soon. That means he hasn’t yet signed the actual franchise tag, which isn’t a shocker.

However, this is the exact same scenario that played out last year with then-tagged star safety Jessie Bates, who happens to even share the same agent as Higgins.

Naturally, over in Atlanta, this subject has come up in interviews with Bates, who told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi the following: “I’ve been through that process through the franchise tag, and I let it weigh on me a little bit more than I should have and it affected my play and how I was living my day-to-day life. So, 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.”

Bates was very open about the contract situation playing a role in his on-field performance last year before another strong playoff push from him and the departure in free agency.

There’s no way to tell if Higgins will struggle with similar things given the similarities. But what we can say is that he is likely to report and sign the tag during training camp itself on the run-up to the season.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire