Bengals free agent Jessie Bates’ ‘best fit’ is with New York Jets

Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals‘ biggest free agent this offseason is none other than star safety, Jessie Bates. The stripes selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft and in the blink of an eye, he’s now through his rookie contract and ready to hit free agency if not extended or tagged.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report put together a list of the best free agents under the age of 25 and Bates made an appearance on the list. In that piece, Knox listed the best fit for every player, and for Bates, it was the New York Jets.

Here’s what Knox said on why Bates makes sense as a Jet:

"The Bengals could choose to retain Bates via the franchise tag. If they don’t, though, the New York Jets would be a great landing spot for him.The Jets franchise-tagged safety Marcus Maye last offseason, but he tore his Achilles in Week 9 and is now set to become a free agent. They also finished the year ranked last in both total defense and points allowed.The Jets should be in the safety market this offseason, and they can make moves before the draft. They’re projected to have $44.7 million in cap space, fifth-most in the NFL."

Could Bengals lose Jessie Bates to Jets?

After the postseason Bates put together, it feels like the team is leaning toward extending him and not tagging him. Either of those options would keep him in the Queen City for at least another season but there could be some hesitancy considering he had the worst regular season of his career.

I’m willing to look past the regular season due to how well Bates played in the postseason and it feels like a lot of Bengals fans are willing to do the same. We’re not the ones who make the decision though.

As for Bates potentially landing with the Jets, I’m not sure I see it. Sure, they have the money to pay him what he’s looking to make but in order for that to happen, Bates has to hit the open market and I’m not sure that happens. If he does become available, the Jets are loaded with cash and need a safety. He’d definitely be someone they’d talk to.

"Every Bengals player slated to hit free agency in 2022 offseason"

What do you all think happens with Jessie Bates this offseason? Do you think he returns to Cincinnati, does he sign with the Jets, or does he sign with one of the other 30 teams?