Jessie Bates: I’d love to be back with Bengals, but that’s out of my control

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Safety Jessie Bates has been a staple of the Bengals’ secondary since the team selected him in the second round of the 2018 draft.

But after five years with Cincinnati, Bates’ time with the franchise could be coming to an end.

The Bengals used the franchise tag to keep Bates in the fold last year and it’s unlikely they’d franchise him a second time. Bates didn’t even sign the tag and join the team at training camp until Aug. 23. He still had his usual strong season, posting a career-best four interceptions with eight passes defensed and a forced fumble.

The Bengals also drafted a potential replacement for Bates with the 31st overall pick in 2022 in Daxton Hill.

After Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, Bates expressed appreciation for his time with Cincinnati.

“I’m super grateful — that’s all I could think about running off the field,” Bates said postgame, via Cincinnati Bengals Talk. “It’s where we were when I first got here and where it ended — just says a lot. … I’ve met a lot of great people in this locker room, in the training room, reporters, normal people in Cincinnati. I’ve built huge relationships, connections.

“So, if this is the end, I’m super grateful for the process. Super grateful for everything that I’ve learned here in Cincinnati, in my five years. We’ll see what happens.”

Bates reiterated those strong ties to the organization when asked directly if he’d like to be back for 2023.

“I’ve been drafted here. I became a man here,” Bates said. “I’d love to be here, but that’s out of my control. Whatever happens at the end of the day, I can say I love my brothers like no other. I played my heart out like no other. And that’s all you can really control, at the end of the day.

“I’ll be able to look back on this and learn from it and have those connections forever.”

Bates will surely have a market when he hits free agency. He’s started all 79 games in which he’s played since 2018, recording 14 interceptions, 43 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a pair of fumble recoveries.

16 responses to “Jessie Bates: I’d love to be back with Bengals, but that’s out of my control

  1. I hope all these guys remember what happened to CJ Uzomah….he went after the pay day to the Jets. He didn’t even sniff the playoffs and had a statistically bad year.

  2. It’s not “out of his control”. The team has to want to sign him, of course, but if he wants to be there, it’s completely under his control to make it work out with the team. I don’t buy the “I had to choose greed over team, so it’s out of my hands” stuff, so hopefully that won’t be him.

  3. This guy, along with rookies Daryl Stingley and Jalen Pitre, in the Houston backfield with DeMeco Ryans as coach? Could be a lock-down secondary, including the best safety duo in the NFL. Not thrilled with either of the QBs in this draft…Houston would be better off getting the NT from Georgia and finding their QB next year (when they still have a couple 1st round picks).

  4. Jessie Bates is a good NFL safety. He wants to be paid like the best safety in the league. He isn’t at that level. According to leaked “team” information, the team offered him a very fair and lucrative contract. They weren’t able to come together. The Bengals drafted his replacement. Good luck to Jessie Bates.

  5. Please, this team-friendly contract talk is crap. It’s a business and the team does not have loyalty to you, they will do as they see fit and so should the player.

  6. It’s laughable to read these comments from people who must not realize that the average NFL career is three years and statistically they pretty much do have to follow the money and go to whoever will pay the most

  7. Bates is a good but not great player. The Bengals will offer him a contract but it won’t be the most out there for him. So I don’t expect him back. I can’t blame him for taking the most he can get though.

  8. Now is when we find out if the Bengals frugal owner is serious about keeping the team together.

  9. Of course it’s under your control. All you have to do is sign with them. If you decide to chase the money and go elsewhere then that’s your call. In fact, what part of all this is NOT under your control?

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