The pursuit is on for the Cincinnati Bengals to attempt to secure an agreement with Safety Jessie Bates. The deadline is July 15th. However, it seems unlikely that the Bengals and Bates will reach an agreement in the upcoming days, according to NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo.
Elsewhere on the franchise-tag front, there isn’t a lot of optimism the #Bengals and Jessie Bates will bridge the gap between the tag ($12.9m) and the top of the safety market ($18m+) between now and next week’s deadline. https://www.nfl.com
Elsewhere on the franchise-tag front, there isn’t a lot of optimism the #Bengals and Jessie Bates will bridge the gap between the tag ($12.9m) and the top of the safety market ($18m+) between now and next week’s deadline. https://t.co/6HNznW6ASg — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 9, 2022
Joe Burrow’s Admiration Of Jessie Bates
Joe Burrow informed the media of the trip to Vegas he planned on taking with Jessie Bates, which just wrapped up this past weekend with Burrow, Bates, and Chidobe Awuzie being seen at UFC 276. Of course, this could have been a plea to stay with the team, but now it looks like he wants to make sure Bates plays under the franchise tag. Regardless of the matter, it doesn’t seem as if Bates has expanded any interest in accepting the idea of playing under the tag.
Jessie Bates is the leader of this defense, and he is a leader in the locker room. Not having him in the locker room and on the field would be a big depletion to the Cincinnati Bengals team this season. There is no leverage in making a trade currently, even though there could be takers. A few teams could really benefit from having Bates as their safety; however, trading him would be a bad look for what the Bengals are building in the locker room. It’s a bad look for future stars being dragged into a franchise tag situation. Trading him could be out of the question as we continue to get closer to training camp.
What Are The Bengals’ True Intentions With Jessie Bates
Many suspect that Jessie Bates will eventually buy in and play under the tag. Still, if he sticks to his word and his motive and decides to hold out and not show up to practices, games, and mandatory meetings, he will be leaving $12.9 million dollars on the table with a focus of being paid long-term next off-season with guaranteed money and much more contract stability.
It is hard to criticize Bates for making this decision from my perspective. Has he gotten some backlash for it? Yes. But you have to put yourself in his shoes and in his position before judging him. If Jessie Bates decided to play on the franchise tag and suffered a major injury, not only does all of his leverage moving forward fall out the window, he would be stuck again on a prove-it-type deal next season, and who’s to say the Bengals would keep him around if he is a free agent. The average career span of an NFL player is three years. You need to get your money while you are in your prime.
Bates is talented enough to be around for a long time but has earned the right to get guaranteed money and the right to have stability within his contract. The market was blown up once the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minkah Fitzpatrick agreed to an $18-19 million deal. You could debate that Bates isn’t far off talent-wise compared to Fitzpatrick, which will obviously generate him and his agent for a similar deal. That has put the Cincinnati Bengals in an extremely hard spot leverage-wise in these disputes.
Drafting Daxton Hill could be the sign that says they aren’t willing to offer any more than what they’ve already put on the table and that they are sensing a new era at the safety position. After this season, Hill and other rookie Tycen Anderson will be the only two safeties on the roster under contract. Nonetheless, the Bengals only have a couple of days if they want to make Bates a long-term offer that keeps him in Cincinnati for future years.