Sometime within the next three months, the Cincinnati Bengals would love to get Jessie Bates III’s signature on a contract extension.
Bates is the exact player the Bengals like to keep around; he’s young, nearing elite status, and is growing into a leadership role.
The deal that Bates will eventually sign will make him one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL. That obviously matters, but it’s not what Bates is advertising.
After the conclusion of mandatory minicamp, Bates talked with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com and was asked about an upcoming deal with his current team. It sounds like Bates wants his current team to remain his team for years to come.
“Obviously, I feel like I’m a core piece in Cincinnati,” Bates said. “My family is three hours away, so I would love to be here. My main goal is to take that next level that I keep saying as a leader on this team. The money part of it will come. I just want to win. That’s all I care about is winning. The money part of it will come. Not just for me, but for everybody in this program.”
Bates wants to advance himself as a leader, but he’s already made significant progress in that arena. He earned the title of NFLPA rep from his former teammate Geno Atkins this Spring, and he lead discussions this offseason regarding how the team would manage participation for OTAs. It would not be a surprise to see his No. 30 jersey have a capital C stitched on it this upcoming season.
As he enters his fourth year in the league, Bates has definitely established himself as the core piece that he believes he is. Not only is he arguably the team’s best player, his desire to remain in Cincinnati is obvious.
Typically, Cincinnati’s front office are able to close these deals right before the start of the season. Joe Mixon is the most recent example, as he agreed to his four-year deal on September, 1st of last year—13 days before the season began.
Bates’ deal could be finalized by then, and he’s right, the money will indeed come.