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Jessie Bates and Bengals not expected to reach agreement on extension?

There’s still a month to go until Week 1 of the regular season, but this is a very bad sign for a deal getting done.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this is not the news we wanted to hear today.

According to ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler, the Cincinnati Bengals are not expected to reach an agreement with All-Pro safety Jessie Bates on a long-term contract at this time.

“The Bengals and safety Jesse Bates III are not expected to reach a contract extension at this time, per source,” Fowler wrote on Twitter. “Sides not progressing toward a deal. Bates, a 2022 free agent, is a major player coming off three interceptions, 15 pass breakups a year ago.”

Bates, a 2018 second-round pick out of Wake Forest, is entering the final year of his rookie season after becoming an All-Pro last season.

It’s unclear if the Bengals and Bates are tabling contract talks or if they’re just going so poorly that there’s little-to-no hope of a deal getting done.

Either way, this is not what the Bengals needed going into a make-or-break year for head coach Zac Taylor. Bates is easily the Bengals’ best player right now, and both sides were very hopeful a deal could be reached.

Let’s hope things change in the coming weeks and both sides are able to hammer out a deal. Otherwise, Bates is at risk of either hitting free agency next offseason or being franchise tagged, which he’ll be absolutely trying to avoid, and rightfully so.

Pay the man.