The team has been in contract talks with the 25-year-old safety on a long-term extension, but no deal has been reached, with the deadline to extend Bates being July 15.
If they cannot get a deal done, Bates, who is currently in line to play the 2022 season on the franchise tag that will pay him $12.9 million, would become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Bates’ future came into further question when the team opted to draft Michigan safety Daxton Hill with its first-round pick in last month’s NFL Draft. With quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins eligible and likely to seek long-term deals next offseason, not being able to get a long-term deal done before the July 15 deadline could mean Bates will no longer be a Bengal after this season.
Fellow defender DJ Reader is hoping to see Bates get extended.
“I want him to be here,” Reader said. “I obviously want him to get paid. That’s my dog. But I keep telling him those fruits are gonna come. He’s put in the labor. He’s put in the work. And those fruits are gonna come, whether it’s here or somewhere else.”
“I think he’s in good spirits, but nobody — I wouldn’t say wants to be played with — but when you’ve done something and you feel like you’ve put that work in, you want to be rewarded for it,” Reader said. “I feel like what he did in the playoffs spoke for itself. How much of a leader and through the middle and somebody who comes up and he plays in big games. He’s out there. I think he pressed a little bit last year as a player, but I think the way he ended the year just spoke volumes to who he is as a person. He pressed through. He didn’t come out here and complain. So I love him. I love that guy.”
For Morrison’s full story, which also includes an interview with offensive lineman Jonah Williams, click here.