For the first time in three years, the Cincinnati Bengals are 1-0. All is right inside Paul Brown Stadium aside from one potential issue.
The club and Jessie Bates III could not reach a contract extension by the time Sunday came around. Traditionally, Cincinnati uses the start of the regular season as a deadline for extensions and wait until the end of the season to restart negotiations. In all likelihood, they will exercise this timeline with their star free safety as well.
Bates spoke with local media Monday afternoon and was pretty frank about the situation.
“Wish it would’ve got done,” Bates said. “They got (Sam Hubbard’s deal) done, I wish I was the next up. I’ll play my part this year and see what happens. I need to continue to show with my play, I’ll be a little pissed off, for sure.”
Bates sure did play pissed off, though. He led Cincinnati in total tackles (nine) against Minnesota and was involved in the game-saving forced fumble late in overtime.
The plan was for Bates to be next up after Sam Hubbard inked his four-year deal back in July. Reports of Bates’ agency and the Bengals being far apart surfaced just a couple of weeks later, and sure enough, both sides were unable to reach an agreement by this past weekend.
In an interview with Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham a month ago, Bates expressed frustration and alluded to the Bengals not wanting to offer him a top contract at his position. He also said that was going to be the last time he talks about the extension.
The more Bates proves himself, the more the Bengals will be exhausted of their remaining leverage. A pissed off Bates might even be better than the second-team All-Pro version we watched last year. And re-signing that guy is only going to get more expensive.