Bengals placing franchise tag on Jessie Bates isn’t surprising

Leigh Oleszczak
Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates -Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates -Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals have made the decision to franchise tag star safety Jessie Bates, doing so on Monday afternoon. The decision means that Bates is under contract with the stripes for the 2022 season and he will not be able to test free agency.

Fans were waiting to see what was going to happen with Bates, as this story has dated back a few years now. When Sam Hubbard was extended last offseason, he made it clear that he felt Bates deserved an extension too. Mike Hilton also mentioned how Bates needed to be extended as the season was going on.

The regular season was the worst we’ve seen from Bates and some fans wondered if the Bengals would end up bringing him back as a result. Fortunately, he stepped it up in the playoffs and it was an easy decision for the team to tag him.

Bengals franchise tag Jessie Bates for 2022 season

The expected franchise tag price for safeties this year is roughly $13 million so that’s what Bates will earn for now. Tagging him means that Cincinnati now has through July 15 to come up with a new contract for Bates. If they don’t, then he’ll play on the franchise tag during the season.

Fans might be frustrated with the two sides failing to come to an agreement but the franchise tag isn’t always a bad thing. It gives both sides four months to agree to terms on a contract that works for everyone.

For what it’s worth, Spotrac has Bates projected to earn a five-year deal worth $74 million with an annual salary of $14.8 million.

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Hopefully, a deal gets done between the two but for now, we don’t have to worry about another team signing Bates. He’ll be back in the Queen City for the 2022 season but the question now is — Will it be under an extension or the franchise tag?