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Report: Tee Higgins, Bengals are not and have never been close on an extension

The Bengals got a deal done with quarterback Joe Burrow, making him the league’s highest-paid player.

But there apparently has been no progress with another key offensive piece eligible for an extension.

Per Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer, receiver Tee Higgins and the Bengals aren’t close and have never been close on a contract extension. Conway adds that barring something “shocking” in the next 24 hours, the two sides are not expected to reach a deal before Sunday’s season opener.

A second-round pick in the 2020 draft, Higgins is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He’s been highly productive in each of his first three seasons, eclipsing 1,000 yards in 2021 and 2022. But with Ja’Marr Chase eligible for an extension after the 2023 season, Higgins could be the odd man out.

Via Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Higgins said Friday that he’s not sure what Burrow’s contract means for his own potential new deal.

I’m just doing my job,” Higgins said. “I’m focused on one day at a time and [this week’s opponent] Cleveland.”

Higgins added that he hopes there will be more negotiations headed into the season opener.

“My resume is not as good as the greats,” Higgins said. “I got a lot of work to do. Looking forward to getting that done.”

That may technically be true, but Higgins is also no slouch. He’s recorded 215 receptions for 3,028 yards with 19 touchdowns over his first three seasons. If Cincinnati can’t find a way to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with Higgins, another franchise will surely play him plenty to be a top offensive weapon.