The Cincinnati Bengals have had a good offseason addressing the team’s needs, like improving the offensive line.
The one dark area has been the contract negotiations with star safety Jessie Bates that are still ongoing.
Back in March, the Bengals placed a franchise tag on Bates which would make him set to make $12.91 million this season.
However, Bates has made it clear that he will not be playing this season under a franchise tag and hopes to have a long-term deal done by the July 15th deadline.
On Wednesday, former NFL agent and CBS Sports salary cap expert Joel Corry wrote about his opinions of the situation.
“Bates reportedly has no intention of playing under his $12.911 million franchise tag. Sitting out the season if a long-term deal isn’t reached by July 15 would be surprising,” Corry wrote. “It is a rarity for franchise players to miss a season. Last time it happened before Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell in 2018 was with Chiefs defensive lineman Dan Williams in 1998.”
He continued, “The Bengals probably don’t want to pay Bates any more than the $14 million per year Marcus Williams, who was designated as a franchise player by the Saints in 2021, received from the Ravens on a five-year deal in free agency this year. Bates likely has his sights set on the top of the safety market. The Broncos made Justin Simmons, who was on his second straight franchise tag, the league’s highest-paid safety at $15.25 million per year in March 2021. That was before Jamal Adams reset the safety market with a four-year, $70 million extension, averaging $17.5 million per year and worth up to $72 million through incentives and salary escalators, from the Seahawks last August.”
If Bates is looking to get a contract similar to the one that Adams received from Seahawks, then I wouldn’t count on an extension getting done by the July 15th deadline.
Hopefully, a deal gets done before the deadline because the Bengals are better with Bates taking the field next season than not taking the field.