Jessie Bates had too much focus on contract to open the season

Cincinnati Bengals vs Detroit Lions
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At the start of the regular season, Bengals safety Jessie Bates said he’d be playing “pissed off” because he was unable to reach agreement with the team on a contract that would keep him in the fold beyond the 2021 season.

Bates was coming off a standout 2020 season and the prospect of adding an edge to his game seemed like it could be a positive for the Bengals defense. It has not played out that way, however.

Bates has been less effective through the first half of this season and he admitted this week that he’s been paying too much attention to contractual matters.

“I think it kind of goes into everything. I feel like I’m at a better head space now than I was at the beginning of the season,” Bates said, via the team website. “So caught on to proving the wrong people right and the main thing I should be focusing on is proving the right people right as far as my coaches, my teammates, my family and not worry about all of the other stuff. I know that’s going to work out, I know what type of player I am, that stuff’s going to work out regardless. But like I said I’ve got to be better for this team, so I’m excited for it.”

The Bengals took a two-game losing streak into their Week 10 bye and they’ll try to right the ship in Las Vegas this weekend. Having Bates with his eyes on football rather than the offseason would benefit that effort.

6 responses to “Jessie Bates had too much focus on contract to open the season

  1. he certainly should have been extended in the last offseason. he has earned it
    for sure. problem is, he is on a team that drafts and then lets them go when
    rookie deal is up.

  2. Translation: I’d better start playing better now because I just realized playing poorly won’t help me get a big contract.

  3. Should he have gotten an extension before the season? Perhaps. But for what he was probably asking (Jamal Adams 17.5, Justin Simmons 15.25, Harrison Smith 16.00) would be above all of these safties who just re-signed this offseason. Why would the Bengals do this when they have him on a 2nd round contract and the ability to franchise him the following 2 seasons? He is a good player but probably not the caliber of player as the players mentioned above. Just because you are the best defensive player on a crappy defense doesn’t mean you automatically get an elite contract. I honestly think the Bengals offered him a market deal and he wanted to reset the safety market and his agent failed to get the deal done. Now he can either accept the bengals market deal or be prepared to have his rights squatted on for the next two seasons.

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