For the first time in half a decade, the Cincinnati Bengals have an All-Pro.
Jessie Bates III has been named to the All-Pro second-team by the Associated Press. It’s the first time a member of the Bengals has made any AP All-Pro team since 2015. Andrew Whitworth and Geno Atkins were voted to the All-Pro first-team that season with Reggie Nelson making it onto the second-team.
Three safeties made it onto the first-team. Tyrann Mathieu, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Budda Baker received the most votes at the position from the AP’s panel of 50 voters. Bates finished fifth in the voting with eight votes, which put him ahead of other top safeties Justin Simmons and Adrian Amos.
All-Pro voting at the safety position:— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) January 8, 2021
Tyrann Mathieu, 19 votes
Minkah Fitzpatrick, 18
Budda Baker, 18
Jamal Adams, 14
Jessie Bates III, 8
Justin Simmons, 6
Adrian Amos, 6
As the clear-cut best player from a four-win Bengals team, Bates didn’t receive any recognition from Pro Bowl voting and missed out on the All-Pro first team. Bates graded out as Pro Football Focus’ top safety from this season and led all safeties in interceptions and pass breakups combined with 15.
On a winning team, Bates would’ve gotten the votes he needed to make the first-team, but the All-Pro second team is a pristine honor for any player, especially a young one like Bates.
The 23-year old will now enter an offseason that hopefully ends with him inking a long-term extension with the Bengals. This news should only give him more leverage in the upcoming negotiations.