Minicamp is open for the Cincinnati Bengals and that means the microphones are on, giving us a chance to hear from staff members and players. A notable absence from the minicamp is safety Jessie Bates III as he continues to be away from the team. In March, the Bengals placed the franchise tag on Bates, and it has been reported that he has “no intentions” on playing under the tag.
In media availability today, franchise quarterback Joe Burrow was asked about the stalemate with Bates and gave us perhaps the most powerful endorsement we’ve seen from a player. Burrow is an unquestioned leader and face of the franchise, so his opinion on this may have the attention of the front office.
“Jessie’s a big part of this team and you know, you can put a price tag on what he does on the field, but I don’t think you can on what he does in the locker room,” Burrow said.
Burrow also brings up the importance of Bates in turning a franchise that didn’t make the playoffs in Bates’ first three years in the league into a team that appeared in the Super Bowl last season.
“He’s been a guy that has kind of built what we’re doing here. He was one of the first and Jessie’s exactly the kind of player that I think you want to reward for the work that he’s done for the last four years, through the ups and the downs.”
Burrow has mentioned the chemistry with the team and how he can hang out with anyone on the roster outside of football, but his relationship with Bates appears to be closer than some may have thought. Burrow said he and Bates talk “all the time” and they will be taking a trip to Las Vegas together soon.
“Joey B” has been a great recruiter since arriving in Cincinnati. Could a friend to friend conversation at the blackjack table lead to a long-term deal for Bates?
In case you missed it check out Burrow’s full interview below: