Bates added that “even the guys that aren’t going to be here” will be able to take that standard with them to other teams. That’s a group that could potentially include Bates as the 2018 second-round pick played out the final year of his rookie deal during the 2021 season, but it doesn’t sound like the Bengals are going to usher him out the door.
The Bengals can use a franchise tag on Bates if they’re unable to reach agreement on a long-term deal and head coach Zac Taylor made it sound like the team will do whatever it takes in order to keep Bates in Cincinnati.
“His approach has been tremendous all year,” Taylor said, via Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s a big part of what we do, and we’re proud of how he led this team. I think everyone knows we want Jessie to be a part of this.”
Bates had 88 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery in 15 regular season games. He added 20 tackles and two interceptions in the playoffs while also breaking up the overtime pass to Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill that Eli Apple intercepted in overtime of the AFC Championship Game.