Bengals: Defensive woes proved Jessie Bates deserves an extension
The Cincinnati Bengals might have won their Week 4 outing on Thursday Night Football against the Jaguars but it wasn’t looking so hot after one half, as the Jags led 14-0. The defense looked wobbly coming out of the gates and it was clear that Jessie Bates is the glue that holds this team together.
Thursday night was the first time Bates has missed a game in his NFL career and his absence clearly impacted the defense. They were getting gashed both on the ground and through the air, which wasn’t the case through the first three games of the season.
Following their win in Pittsburgh just four days before the Thursday night outing, Bates was the second-highest graded player and the highest-graded defensive player, per PFF. Safety might not be a premier position in the NFL but Bates is the heart and soul of Cincy’s defense and that couldn’t have been more clear on Thursday night without him on the field.
Jessie Bates’ extension needs to happen ASAP.
The Bengals have shown they care about extending their players, especially on the defensive side of the ball, as they extended Sam Hubbard during training camp. After getting his extension, Hubbard advocated for Bates to get paid as well and said he wanted them to play together for a long time. Pretty obvious that was Hubbard’s way of nudging the organization in the right direction.
Bates himself has even said he wants to stay in Cincinnati, so what’s the hold-up?
If the Bengals didn’t plan to extend Bates prior to Thursday’s game, they have to be considering it more now with how lost the defense looked without him. The longer they wait, the more expensive Bates’ contract is getting, and slapping him with the franchise tag is more of a big middle finger to one of their best players.
If this team is serious about keeping their defense looking like the unit we saw in Weeks 1-3, they’ll extend Jessie Bates and they’ll do it sooner rather than later.