The Cincinnati Bengals fans will have all eyes on two moves this offseason.
One of those will be what the Bengals do to enhance their offensive line. After Joe Burrow took 51 regular-season sacks and 19 in the postseason, the need for more line help was more than clear.
However, the other is going to be what happens to star safety Jessie Bates.
Not only is Bates a fan-favorite player, but he was the highest-graded Bengal in the team’s Super Bowl run. Bates didn’t have his best second half of the season, but he balled out in the playoffs and showed up when it mattered the most.
As for his next contract, one that has the potential to make him the highest-paid safety, Bates and the Bengals seem to be making some progress, but for now, there isn’t a signed deal in place.
That could change soon.
“I’m not going to break any news today on that. That’s something we’ll decide here in the next few days. As far as Jessie Bates, he’s an important part of our team. We drafted him, he’s a guy that developed and that has played well that has a real role on our team in a lot of different areas, particularly in leadership and play-making skill, he’s a guy we want going forward. We want him to be a part of our group so we’ll see what we can do to get that done,” Duke Tobin said per The Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway.
There are several things that go into these larger contracts. Guaranteed money is a big one. Years of the contract is a big one as his next deal won’t be nearly as big annually.
Bates is worth it though. He had 88 combined tackles, 4 passes defended and an interception this season. His previous years were just as good as well. He’s set to have many more years at the top of his game, and hopefully, he’s spending those with the Bengals while making more Super Bowl runs.
Tobin makes it seems like a deal is inching closer. Let’s hope that’s the case.