Pros of extending Jessie Bates
Keep a defensive centerpiece for the future in a tough AFC conference
Bates was second-team All-Pro in 2020 and has implemented himself as one of the best defensive playmakers in the league and on the Bengals’ defense. Bates has recorded 408 tackles, 10 interceptions, 35 passes defended, and two forced fumbles over his four years in the NFL.
He is only 25-years old, so locking him up now would give the Bengals all of his prime years if it is, in fact, on a long-term deal. Having intelligent, talented defensive players in a competitive AFC North division and conference is vital.
This division prides itself on how hard they play and the toughness that they exploit. And now, with so many talented quarterbacks and offenses in the conference having a strong secondary will be crucial; otherwise, the stripes will get picked apart through the air.
That has been shown this offseason with the Chargers paying J.C. Jackson, Ravens paying Marcus Williams, and the Colts signing Stephon Gilmore. Teams realize that they will need a stout backend to get stops against these stacked offensive units.