Mike Hilton: Everyone wants Jessie Bates here, nobody upset he isn’t

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals
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The Bengals want to show that their 2021 success was more than a flash in the pan and having safety Jessie Bates on the field would be a good step toward doing that, but he isn’t around at the moment.

Bates got the franchise tag earlier this year and has neither signed it nor agreed to a long-term deal, so he is following in the footsteps of others in the same position by staying away from the team’s offseason workouts. Cornerback Mike Hilton said on Tuesday that the Bengals players are eager to have Bates back, but that they understand that the business side of things has to work itself out.

“Yeah, we’ve been talking all offseason,” Hilton said, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everybody in that locker room wants Jessie to get what he deserves. We know as a team, he’s a cornerstone piece for this franchise. On my end, I’m going to do what I can do to keep pushing and keep putting it out there for him to sign long term. If it happens, great. But also, everybody knows the business side of the NFL. And nobody would be upset or pissed at him if he didn’t show up or he ended up going somewhere else. It’s just part of the game. But he knows that everybody in this locker room wants him here.”

Bates and the Bengals have until July 15 to work out a longer deal. If they don’t, he’ll be in line to make $12.911 million under the terms of the tag.

7 responses to “Mike Hilton: Everyone wants Jessie Bates here, nobody upset he isn’t

  1. Bengals love Bates and it would be great to get him secured on a long term deal. Can’t fault Bates for trying to get his bag, but you can’t fault the Bengals for not making him the top paid or top 3 paid safety. Burrow, Higgins and Chase have major contracts looming. Bates is a great player but doubtful he will be here long term with the new safeties and dbs in the fold after the draft, and his desired contract numbers.

  2. I love Bates, but the first 2/3 of last season, he was barely average, which he admitted was due to his worrying about his contract. He was fantastic in the playoffs, but I suspect the Bengals looked at the whole season and didn’t want to pay him the most for any NFL safety. Bates has valued the market differently and it took him to the franchise tag. I think everyone on the team and front office want him there; and the fact that they drafted guys who could replace him was more about them having zero depth at safety and corner last year than being a power move assuming he’d be gone. Best case for them is that Bates signs a more reasonable long-term deal and he stays and everyone’s happy; but the fact is that he didn’t play like the best safety in football last year and a good 4 game run at the end didn’t change that.

  3. Should have traded him when they couldn’t work out a deal for the second straight year.

  4. Looks like Cincy could walk where this guy comes off like a system player trying to benefit.

  5. Pay the man what he has earned. Get him a long term contract, but make it trade friendly. If we can’t afford him next year, let him have input on where he goes.

    He’s more than earned it.

  6. Let him walk. He’s average. Cincinnati always gets the best out of their safeties and it makes them seem better than they are. He did not play well for most of the year. He can either join the bengals with the franchise tag and be happy with the money he will make, or let him walk. He will miss 2022 and no one will want to pay big money to an average player that just sat out a year.

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