The Cincinnati Bengals community woke up to some excellent news this morning when Kelsey Conway of the enquirer broke the news that Jessie Bates has returned to the facility and has agreed to sign his $12.9 million franchise tag that will lock him up throughout the rest of this season.
Breaking news: #Bengals safety Jessie Bates, after not reporting for training camp at the start due to failed contract negotiations, is back in the team building, a source tells me This comes a day before the team starts practices against the Rams. @Enquirer — Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) August 23, 2022
This is huge news for the Bengals and is a massive addition back to their defense. Rookie Daxton Hill has been playing great football throughout training camp and has earned the right to see serious playing time. Still, the Bengals have a three-headed monster at the safety position and have one of the best defensive back units in football, especially if you are bringing depth into the equation.
Why Bates Held Out
Bates wanted a long-term deal, as we have discussed in past articles. However, he understood the more significant cause: winning with the team he has now. Bringing in well over 12 million and does not waste a season of his career by sitting out for a plausible cause. Yes, it is plausible; I would understand it as well if he chose to take that route, but ultimately, he saw the greater vision, and now the Cincinnati Bengals and himself are better off for it.
Jessie Bates is the leader of this defense and has been for the last few seasons once he took a step forward as a player. His IQ is unmatched, and he has the work ethic to be great. This team is a lot better with him than without him.
The Cincinnati Bengals start a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams tomorrow, and they both have their preseason finale coming Saturday evening in Cincinnati at the new Paycor Stadium. It is not yet known if Bates will play in any preseason action. I think the focus will be on making sure he is ready for Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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