The Cincinnati Bengals and franchise-tagged safety Jessie Bates III did not come to a long-term contract agreement before the NFL’s 4 p.m. ET deadline on Friday, according to multiple reports, and now there’s a chance he may miss time in training camp and beyond.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Bengals’ final offer to Bates guaranteed only $4 million more on a five-year contract than the $12.91 million he is scheduled to make on the one-year franchise tender in 2022 he received from the team earlier in the offseason. If Bates plays at all this year, he will do so under the franchise tag.
According to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports on Friday, Bates has not yet signed his franchise tag tender and he reportedly has no intention to report to training camp or play in 2022 after failing to get a new deal. Basically, there is now a good chance that Bates repeats what former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell did in 2018 when he failed to sign a new deal after being franchise tagged a second consecutive season.
Bates, 25, was originally selected by the Bengals in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Wake Forest. He was reportedly looking to sign an extension this offseason that would make him the league’s highest-paid safety, a distinction that currently belongs to Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick as of a few weeks ago.
To date, Bates has started all 63 games that he’s played, recording 10 interceptions, 35 passes defensed, a pair of forced fumbles, and a pair of fumble recoveries in the regular season. Bates also had two interceptions and six passes defensed in the 2021 postseason for the Bengals, who were the AFC Champions.
The Bengals will open their 2022 regular season 58 days from today at home against the Steelers. It will be interesting to see if Bates winds up playing in that contest. The Bengals selected safety Daxton Hill out of Michigan in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft before adding safety Tycen Anderson out of Toledo in the fifth round.
The Bengals other safeties currently under contract with the team are Vonn Bell, Trayvon Henderson, Michael Thomas, and Brandon Wilson.