Not extending Jessie Bates
One of the biggest questions of the offseason, right behind what the offensive line will look like, was what would happen with Jessie Bates’ contract situation. The Bengals used the franchise tag on the star safety, but they still had time to work out an extension.
However, Bates warned that he did not want to play under the tag. The Bengals knew the two sides were at an impasse regarding the contract. That resulted in the Bengals drafting Dax Hill. But it is doubtful that the team would have gone that route with a long-term deal in place for Bates.
Hill is going to be an excellent player for Cincinnati this year. That said, there was a domino effect that shaped how the team went about the 2022 draft. The Bengals traded up to get Cam Taylor-Britt in the second round, 60th overall, and gave up a sixth-round pick.
The Bengals might have selected a future star cornerback Roger McCreary. It is not sure, but the way the draft worked out shows they wanted an outside corner who could step in and play right away.
Having one of the best safeties in the league, along with an up-and-coming star cornerback along with an extra late-round draft pick, sounds nice.
The consolation here is that Hill and Taylor-Britt look like they will make an impact this year and beyond. Hopefully, Hill turns into one of the best safeties in the league, and Taylor-Britt is a rising top cornerback.
The bad news is that this looks like the last year Bates will be with the club. That is unless the team decides to tag him, again.