4 players Bengals were right to move on from in 2023

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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1. Jessie Bates

The least surprising departure of the offseason for the Bengals was easily Bates, who signed a four-year deal with the Falcons worth $64.02 million. The Bengals anticipated Bates leaving as early as last offseason and that's why they spent last year's first-round pick on Dax Hill.

Bates, a second-round pick out of Wake Forest in 2018, was a bright spot on some really bad Bengals teams but things changed in 2021. The team hadn't extended him entering that season and he went on to prove them right during the regular season with his less-than-stellar performance.

Bates did turn things around in the playoffs that year (he even had a key interception in the Super Bowl) but that wasn't enough for the Bengals front office to be convinced that he was worthy of a new deal in Cincinnati. They franchise-tagged him last offseason and despite Bates threatening to sit out, he eventually signed the tag, and was simply meh during his final year in the stripes.

There was virtually zero chance that Bates would return to Cincinnati so a lot of fans were already looking toward what a future would be like without him. The team has his replacement in line already and we can safely say that spending $60 million on a safety who didn't play at his best in 2022 would have been a bad move for this franchise.

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