Sounds like guaranteed money, or lack thereof, is getting in the way of contract talks between the Cincinnati Bengals and star safety Jessie Bates, as Ian Rapoport writes:
A total of $4 million. Not $4 million per year. https://t.co/Mcgne13x7J— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 15, 2022
So, to recap: Bates is hella mad, may skip training camp, and the Bengals aren’t exactly helping with such a low amount of guaranteed money being offered.
It’s almost like the Bengals already conceded Bates won’t be here in 2023 after they drafted so many defensive backs in this year’s NFL Draft, including first-round pick Daxton Hill.
Here’s to hoping both sides can kiss and make up in time for Bates to play Week 1. The Bengals may have a world of potential, but it’s hard to see them making another Super Bowl run without Bates roaming the secondary.
The Cincinnati Bengals won’t be extending Jessie Bates anytime soon.
Today arrives the deadline for NFL teams to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals.
There will be no extension between Bates and Cincinnati, as the two sides have reportedly made zero progress on a deal, per Tyler Dragon. Bates has yet to even sign his franchise tender.
The Bengals and Jessie Bates have made "zero" progress on a long-term deal, per a source close to the situation. Bates hasn't signed his franchise tag tender and has no intentions on reporting to training camp.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 15, 2022
Players typically hate the franchise tag, and that’s especially true with Bates, who has skipped offseason workouts and could skip training camp as well.
While he’ll likely still report to the team eventually, Bates is making it clear he’s very unhappy with the tag while also sending a message that the team shouldn’t dare tag him again in 2023.
It’s unfortunate that negotiations have gone so poorly, though Bates does carry some blame in this. While he’s clearly one of the league’s best safeties when he brings his A game, he’s been erratic throughout his first four seasons.
As a rookie in 2018, Bates had a standout year and finished with a 79.9 PFF grade, then dropped to 61.2 in 2019 before bouncing back with an elite 90.1 mark in 2020.
This past season, Bates struggled mightily at times during the regular season, including a brutal dropped interception against the 49ers. He even admitted to having a lack of focus in the regular season, something that can’t happen when you’re paying a guy $15 million+ annually like most of the league’s top safeties command.
Bates finished 2021 with an overall PFF score of 56.1, though he got back to being elite during the playoffs when he had a 90.0 score. He clearly thinks he should be one of, if not the league’s highest-paid safety, but the Bengals want more consistency before committing what could be the largest defensive contract in franchise history.