Cincinnati Bengals fans are impatiently waiting for the team to get safety Jessie Bates an extension. It seems every day that passes makes that impending sense of “what will go wrong this time” grow just a little bit louder.
One person who doesn’t seem to be sweating is Bates himself, who sounds like he is ready to spend the foreseeable future with the team.
“I’m super eager to get a deal done. Obviously I want to be here,” Bates told reporters on Thursday via FOX 55. “I think my mom is a little bit more eager, just because she wants to know whether she’s gonna move to Cincinnati, maybe. So, you know, that’s ongoing talk that I’m very excited about.“
Bates recently took on a ton of responsibility with the Bengals. He became the team’s NFLPA representative when Geno Atkins was let go. He also helped make sure OTAs had a high in-person attendance. On top of that, he is arguably the best safety in the NFL, especially as far as true centerfielders go.
That makes these comments a little more predictable, but it is always good to hear as a fan that things haven’t soured over a process like this. Part of that probably has to do with the fact Bates knows he is going to get paid, and he is leaving it in his agent’s hands while he focuses on the field.
“I think it’s really cool to see guys get drafted here, play well and then get rewarded for it,” Bates said. “I wish it was done today, obviously, but there are negotiations that have to happen between my agent, and you know, upstairs. So, that’s a process.”
There is no doubt that locking up a player a leader of Bates’ caliber is at the top of the Bengals priority list. However, it is hard to completely blame fans for being uneasy. We just saw the team let Carl Lawson via free agency after he was one of the most disruptive pass rushers when he was healthy.
The deadline for Bates’ deal is probably Week 1, so it is only going to get more uncomfortable for people who would like this deal to already be done. There is no doubt that it does get done though. Cincinnati has a pretty long history of giving extensions to their top guys that they believe are cores of this team. It is hard to find a payer more fitting of that description on the Bengals than Bates.