Let’s be honest, cap space in the NFL is non-existent. Dallas has a projected $14 million left in their cap, a number that is certainly large enough to maneuver an extension if they were to trade for Jessie Bates.
The Cowboys need a superstar in their secondary. Whether or not Trevon Diggs is an elite corner in this league, his interceptions are next level, but his yards allowed are below average. The best way to help out a young corner in this league is to place one of the best safeties in the NFL behind him.
Adding Bates to their secondary would be a move to help Dallas leap back into contention in the NFC, a conference that is becoming increasingly wide open. While Dallas was a playoff team in 2021, an exit on Wild Card weekend has left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans; mediocrity is not an option for this team next season.
Dallas would likely be fine parting with their first-round pick, pick 24, and even an additional Day 3 pick to land Bates. This move would be very similar to when the Steelers traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins. Dallas has a position in need, free safety, and Jessie Bates is better than any player they could draft at pick 24.
For Cincinnati, adding pick 24 assures the team a solid option to draft a cornerback in round one; Andrew Booth Jr. and Kaiir Elam are both projected to be on the board at this spot. Much like the first trade option, the Bengals could then attack their hole at safety with pick 31, or even their second-round selection. Let’s not forget, that Jessie Bates was a second-round pick himself.