Bengals News

Projecting cost of Bengals rookie class

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STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 25: Billy Price #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes blocks during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 25, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 25: Billy Price #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes blocks during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 25, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Jessie Bates III 54th overall

2018 CAP Hit: $903,937

Total contract value through 2021: $4.97 million

Safeties are becoming more and more valuable in today’s defenses with the need for versatility at the position. It’s not like the old days where safeties were just the last line of defense and helped cover the back end of the field. Today, these players are asked to do just about everything including playing single high, sliding down into the box as a hybrid linebacker, blitzing off the edge, and even covering wide receivers.

Cincinnati already has two starting safeties in George Iloka who is set to make $6.2 million in 2018 and Shawn Williams who is set to make $4 million. When looking around the league at top safeties contracts, the bar is set extremely high. Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry landed a massive deal after being forced to prove it, and he had the best season of his career. Berry is set to make $13 million this season.

The Bengals are paying less than Berry’s 2018 CAP Hit on three starting caliber safeties between Iloka, Williams, and now second-round pick safety out of Wake Forest Jessie Bates. Drafting Bates allows the Bengals defense to move players around, including the safeties, and run more three-safety sets moving forward which has become extremely popular in this pass-heavy league.

While filling a need in the Bengals defense, Bates will make less than $1 million this season. Cincinnati added a playmaker on the back end that can move around the defense and help address their most significant issue from last season, forcing turnovers. After only 14 total turnovers last season, the Bengals defense found a playmaker that can contribute right away and help the defense become more aggressive on all fronts.

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