Bengals Free Agency

Five bold predictions for the Bengals’ 2021 offseason

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown looks on during the team's rookie camp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown looks on during the team's rookie camp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Jessie Bates III. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

Bold Bengals prediction: Bates signs extension, becomes highest-paid S

The Bengals had an abysmal 2020 season, finishing with a 4-11-1 record. However, there were multiple players on the roster who had very impressive years despite all of those losses. Of those impressive individual performances from Bengals in 2020, Jessie Bates III stood out above the rest and made a name for himself as an elite player.

With an overall grade of 90.1, Bates was rated by Pro Football Focus as the highest-graded safety in the NFL. Bates also earned praise from PFF by being named to their 2020 All-Pro First Team and was additionally named to the AP’s All-Pro Second Team. Bengals players often don’t gain much national praise, but there was a clear consensus across the country that Bates was one of the league’s best in 2020.

The Bengals want to win a Super Bowl with their young franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. If they have any hopes of reaching the highest stage in football, they will need impact players like Bates. Giving a lucrative extension to their best defensive player should be a no-brainer.

Just how much should the Bengals be willing to pay Bates? Well, it’s not going to be cheap. He may very well be the best safety in the entire world and Cincinnati will need to pay him as such.

In order to lock down Bates, the Bengals should give him a record-setting contract extension for the safety position. Expect the star safety to get a long term deal worth $15M+ a year this offseason.

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