Bengals can’t afford to lose Jessie Bates in free agency next year

Cincinnati Bengals, Jessie Bates (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Jessie Bates (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals made the right decision when selecting Jessie Bates in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft and while it hasn’t resulted in Pro Bowls, Bates is valuable to Cincinnati’s defense and they have to do whatever it takes to keep him in a Bengals uniform past the 2021 season.

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report shared this sentiment, listing Bates as the one player the Bengals can’t lose this offseason. Here’s more of what Gagnon had to say:

"The rebuilding Bengals quite simply can’t justify losing such a high-impact player, and the franchise tag should absolutely be on the table. That said, Cincinnati’s track record in free agency is quite daunting when it comes to forecasting Bates’ future"

Bates has expressed interest in staying with the Bengals past this year and it’d be a smart move for the organization. That being said, it’s hard to ignore their track record when it comes to free agency, as Gagnon mentioned.

Losing Jessie Bates would be a huge blow to the Bengals.

When looking at the Bengals’ defense, Bates is far and away the best player on that side of the ball. It’d be smart of them to get a deal done with him before the season kicks off in September, but at the same time, a franchise tag isn’t out of the question and this way, Bates can play even harder as he tries to fight hard for a large deal next offseason.

The Bengals’ safeties could end up being the best in the entire league and Bates is a big reason as to why that is. He’s been a solid all-around player for Cincinnati and he’d be a much bigger name if he played for another team.

While Bates could want to explore free agency, the interest in staying with the team who drafted him is a good sign for the future. Hopefully, the Bengals can get a deal done with him prior to the season but if not, hope won’t be lost.

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If Bates does indeed leave after the 2021 season, however, the Bengals will be in a really tough spot moving forward. Let’s hope we don’t have to think about that.