Jessie Bates and the Cincinnati Bengals are currently in a standoff on a contract extension, but Bates could be hurting his stock more by not taking a long-term extension.
Jessie Bates has been a stalwart on the Cincinnati Bengals‘ defense since he was drafted but has not found himself in a contract holdout situation. With the team and Bates unable to reach an agreement, Bates will play the season under the franchise tag with the teams able to try again next year to reach a long-term agreement.
But, this strategy could end up hurting Bates.
I know Bates is a fan favorite and that he has been an integral part of the recent success of the Cincinnati Bengals, however, the stripes may be doing the right thing by waiting a year to give into Bates’ demands.
All of this comes down to on-the-field performance, and unfortunately for Bates, he chose his contract year to have his worst year as a professional.
According to Pro Football Focus, Bates had the least amount of interceptions by only getting one last year, while also giving up the most completions of his career by about 30%. That is a big increase in completions while in coverage, and that is one thing the Bengals are looking at with concern before diving head first into an expensive contract.
It is likely that Cincinnati is offering contracts that take this dip in performance in mind while Bates is looking at his entire body of work in negotiations. While it is entirely possible that Bates will bounce back and have a career year, there has to be some concern that offenses have found a weakness to exploit.
If Bates does not recover to his original form, he could see another drop in the total value of any contract he gets next year. He is betting on himself returning to his Pro-Bowl level form and forcing the Bengals to up their offer. One year is an anomaly, but two years would become a trend. Another down year could prove very costly for the young safety.