Potential Jets, Giants WR target Tee Higgins receives franchise tag from Bengals

Tee Higgins had been viewed by many as one of the top wide receiver options on the open market for both the Giants and Jets this offseason, however, it appears they’ll now have to look elsewhere.

The star wideout will officially stay in Cincinnati for at least one more year after receiving the $21.8 million franchise tag from the Bengals on Friday night, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Higgins is the first player to receive the tag during this window.

The Clemson product put together back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons in 2021 and '22 and he’s helped form one of the top receiver duos in the league alongside Ja’Marr Chase since being selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

He was limited to just 12 games after battling injuries last season, but remained an effective down field threat, averaging a career-high 15.6 yards per reception.

With Higgins off the board the top free agent receivers remaining include Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, Gabe Davis, Marquise Brown, and Michael Pittman Jr. among others.