5 Bengals players who likely played their final game with the team
1. Jessie Bates
The most obvious departure this offseason has to be Jessie Bates. The Bengals didn't extend the former second-round pick last offseason and opted to franchise tag him instead, which did not go over well with Bates.
Bates played okay during the regular season in the 2021 season but really flourished in the playoffs and it's been a similar story this time around. The Bengals would love to have the Wake Forest product back in their secondary, especially with Vonn Bell also hitting free agency, but they're not going to be able to pay him the kind of money he wants.
Spotrac's market value for Bates is four years worth $42 million with an annual salary of $10.6 million. The front office still has to pay Burrow, Higgins, Wilson, and then Ja'Marr Chase in the 2024 offseason, not to mention they need to find the money for guys like Bell, Pratt, and Hayden Hurst. That's just not the kind of money that teams want to spend on a safety.
Fans entered this season anticipating that it'd be Bates' last hurrah with the Cincinnati Bengals.