What is Jessie Bates actually worth to the Cincinnati Bengals?

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 could not agree on a contract with Jessie Bates or his agent David Mulugheta, so they decided to place him on the franchise tag for 2022. Under the one-year tag, Bates would make $12.91 million this season, per Over the Cap.

Bates has yet to sign the franchise tag, and unfortunately, according to Tyler Dragon of USA Today, he will not report to OTA’s or training camp, nor does he plan on playing on the franchise tag this season.

Other top safeties around the League

According to Over the Cap, some of the NFL’s highest-paid safeties are Jamal Adams of the Seahawks, who signed a $70 million deal; Harrison Smith of the Vikings signed a deal for $64 million, and Justin Simmons of the Broncos, whose deal was worth $61 million.

How far apart are the Bengals and Bates?

Bates’ agent Mulgheta wants his client to get to the top of the pay scale for safties, which could be problematic since he had his worst regular season this past year even though he played fantastic in the postseason.

What does Jessie Bates mean to Cincinnati Bengals?

Many of Bates’ teammates have come out in interviews or on social media expressing their views about the importance of re-signing Bates to a contract.

One of the defensive leaders, D.J. Reader, would like to see Bates get extended.

“I want him to be here,” Reader said. “I obviously want him to get paid. That’s my dog. But I keep telling him those fruits are gonna come. He’s put in the labor. He’s put in the work. And those fruits are gonna come, whether it’s here or somewhere else.”

Defensive cornerback Mike Hilton has also expressed his feeling about re-signing Bates. Hilton said. “His love of the game is just – not a lot of people have that. You can tell how much he puts into his body, how much he puts into the playbook; you can just read into how much he enjoys the game.”

It’s not hard to tell that Bates has a strong presence in the locker room and on the field. What price is there to put on this kind of leadership?

Will a deal be made?

Since he arrived in Cincinnati, Jessie Bates has been a true professional on and off the football field but I can see Bates’ perspective in this situation. Being only 25 years old, he is headed into the prime of his career, so this second contract could be life-changing for him and his family.

I can also see the Bengals’ side of this. The organization has to try and get Bates signed to a reasonable contract while planning for the future. There is only so much money with their franchise quarterback contract coming up soon and their all-star receivers needing to be signed shortly.

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If a deal is not signed, will Bates play on the tag or leave money on the table? Hopefully, the Bengals and Bates will be able to meet in the middle, and the fans will be able to watch Bates this season in stripes.