5 Bengals players who shouldn't be back next year

Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Football Team
Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Football Team / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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1. Jessie Bates

Bengals fans are appreciative of Jessie Bates and what he did for this franchise but it's time to move on. The former second-round pick out of Wake Forest was once a bright spot for the team (and one of the only ones at that) but that hasn't been the case over the past two seasons.

The last two regular seasons have not been kind to Bates and while he played well in last year's postseason games, that wasn't the case this year. He got burnt all night long by Patrick Mahomes in the AFC title game and if it wasn't crystal clear then that he wouldn't be back in 2023, I don't know what else to tell you.

The Bengals have a lot of deserving players to pay this offseason and next and they can't merit spending $14 million a year on a safety who's not reliable anymore.

Next. 5 Bengals Who Likely Played Their Last Game With Team. dark

Losing Bates will be sad but moving on from him is 100% the right decision for the Bengals.