Zac Taylor doesn’t consider Jessie Bates contract situation a distraction

Zac Taylor, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Zac Taylor, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals franchise-tagged star safety Jessie Bates and the former second-round pick hasn’t shown up to practice yet this summer. What did Zac Taylor have to say about the situation when asked about it? 

With their second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Jessie Bates out of Wake Forest. Bates was an immediate factor in a young and unimpressive defense and worked his way into a leader role during that time.

While Bates put together his least impressive regular season performance during the 2021 season, he played like the Jessie Bates of old during the playoffs. His interception in the Super Bowl could have been a game-changing moment but Vernon Hargreaves can take some of the blame as to why it wasn’t.

When the offseason began, we all knew that the Bates contract situation could get ugly. Last offseason, there were murmurings of the two not agreeing to terms on an extension despite other players stating they wanted to see him in the stripes long-term. Sam Hubbard quietly signed an extension last summer and he was one of the ones clamoring for Bates to get paid as well.

We’re nearly a year from all of that going down but the situation is that now Bates is franchise-tagged. The two sides have until July 15 to agree to terms on a new extension. If Bates doesn’t get his extension, he could choose not to play at all this year, which probably wouldn’t be a wise decision on his part.

What did Zac Taylor have to say about Jessie Bates?

After the Bengals’ OTAs on Tuesday, Zac Taylor spoke to the media and was asked about the Jessie Bates situation and how to not let it distract the rest of the team. His answer was simply — It’s a business.

The NFL is indeed a business and while this Bates situation is unpleasant, it’s part of the biz. He might elect not to show up at all this season and if that’s what he decides to do, the team needs to move forward as though nothing happened and find a replacement for him. They essentially did that by drafting Daxton Hill in the first round.

The Jessie Bates situation doesn’t appear to be trending in a positive direction but it’s good to see that Zac Taylor has his guys focused on the prize, which is getting back to the Super Bowl for a second straight season.

Each AFC North Foe's Most Overrated Player. dark. Next