Bengals safety Jessie Bates was not expected to report to the start of training camp after failing to reach agreement on a long-term deal with the team before the deadline for franchise tagged players. Indeed, Bates won’t be there Tuesday with the rest of his teammates, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports.
Since he has not signed the $12.91 million franchise tag, Bates is not subject to fines.
Bengals owner Mike Brown said Monday he expects Bates to play with the team this year. He added he hopes things work out in a way that Bates remains with the team in 2023 and beyond.
Bates, 25, joined the Bengals as a second-round choice in 2018. He has started all 63 games he has played, recording 10 interceptions, 35 passes defensed, a pair of forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries in the regular season.
He also had two interceptions and six passes defensed in the postseason for last year’s AFC champions.
Cincinnati covered its bases by drafting safety Daxton Hill and defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt in the first two rounds before adding safety Tycen Anderson at No. 166 overall this year. But the Bengals surely would feel Bates’ absence if he stays away into the regular season.