Cons of Extending Jessie Bates
Potentially missing out on a long-term deal revolving around Wilson, Boyd, Higgins, Williams, or Bell in the future.
As I mentioned, there is only so much money to go around. Teams can’t distribute five max-level contracts over two years. Tee Higgins, Joe Burrow, and Logan Wilson all hit the market in two years and become eligible for a contract extension after this year.
There is no question Cincinnati will do what they can to work out a deal with Burrow, and that is obvious. Still, if the team give a big-time deal to Bates, it may limit the ability to do that with a player like Wilson or Higgins, who will also be in the market for borderline max values. As a result, one of those players could be left in the dust and forced to head elsewhere in free agency.
That is one of the biggest challenges facing the Bengals, but having those players eligible next season does help, though, because they can try and space out how they negotiate long-term deals.
Would lose a critical defensive piece that won’t be easy to replace
Jessie Bates is no slouch when it comes to his ability to make plays for this defense, and It wouldn’t be easy to replace such a high-quality player and leader who has supplanted himself as one of the best overall players on this team since he was drafted.
For now, the Bengals have him placed on a franchise tag, which will at the very least keep him here this season. Still, for future purposes, Duke Tobin will need to figure out a way to negotiate a contract down the road with Bates, and that could come as early as this summer or might not be in place until next season if they sign him at all.
Regardless of whether they sign Bates or let him walk to replace a guy at his level, you will need to spend money on his level. Other teams will undoubtedly give Bates what he is looking for, so it depends on how much the Bengals prioritize him and understand his importance.
Cincinnati has five safeties currently on the roster, and none of them are under contract past 2022, so don’t be shocked if they consider safety at 31 in the NFL Draft.
This draft is defensive back heavy so they could look at multiple options throughout the course of the three days to find future replacements or guys who are ready to take meaningful snaps right away.
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What do you think, Bengals fans? What other pros and cons are there to locking Jessie Bates up to a long-term extension?