Report: Bengals are not expected to franchise tag Jessie Bates

NFL: DEC 11 Browns at Bengals
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It looks like one of Cincinnati’s key defensive players will be hitting free agency.

According to Tyler Dragon of USA TODAY, the Bengals are not expected to franchise tag safety Jessie Bates.

Cincinnati tagged Bates last year to prevent him from hitting the open market. Bates did not participate in the offseason program and the two sides did not come to a long-term deal by the mid-July deadline. Bates didn’t report to the club and sign his franchise tender until Aug. 23.

But he still started all 16 of Cincinnati’s games (the Week 17 contest with Buffalo being canceled) and recorded 71 tackles, eight passes defensed, four interceptions, and a forced fumble.

A second-round pick in the 2018 draft, Bates has been a mainstay of the Cincinnati defense ever since. In 79 starts, he’s picked off 14 passes and recorded 43 passes defensed.

But Cincinnati ostensibly drafted Bates’ replacement in safety Daxton Hill with the 31st overall pick in 2022. Hill appeared in 15 games with two starts. He played 167 special teams snaps with 131 defensive snaps as a rookie.

7 responses to “Report: Bengals are not expected to franchise tag Jessie Bates

  1. Bates is a very nice player and is going to get paid a lot of money. I’m happy for him but all that money will not translate onto the field. He is far from an elite player. With his young age maybe he can still achieve elite status.

  2. The right move. Would loved to have Bates long term, but it wasn’t in the cards for both sides. Jesse is doing the right thing for his family, Bengals doing the right thing for future team growth and for Bates by not tagging him again. Non story and known outcome for a long time.

  3. He’s a good safety but he overplayed his hand last year. He wanted 18 to 20 million dollars a year and the Cincinnati Bengals offered him around 16 million if you believe reports. Now reports are going around that he will probably be getting about 13 to 14 million dollars a year in the open market.

  4. Bates has the same agent as Higgins. On the one hand that concerns me with getting a long term deal done, but on the other, it tells me Higgins may show up for work if he gets tagged next year.

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