Bengals: 9 players to protect in a hypothetical expansion draft

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (30) – Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Cincinnati Bengals to Protect – No. 6: Jessie Bates

I like Jessie Bates as much as the next Bengals fan but when considering these rankings, we have to take into account what position each guy plays and how important that position is. Bates might be one of the best players on the Bengals’ roster but safety isn’t exactly a position that needs a superstar.

That being said, Bates would make the protection list because he’s the best player on the Bengals’ defense. This is especially important if the Bengals were to extend Bates prior to the 2021 season. If not, he might be someone who could be left off the list, but — as is the case with Hubbard — he’s playing in a contract year and that’s going to equal results.

Bates hasn’t made a Pro Bowl yet during his career but it’s not a secret as to what he can do. He’s a great player and has made the Bengals’ safety position one of the best in the league. Any incoming team wanting to make sure they get the best possible secondary would be itching for a safety like Bates if he was made available.

Bates is the leader on defense and an important member of the Cincinnati Bengals so of course, he’s going to be included here.