Trending: Star safety doesn’t plan to play on franchise tag, trade talks looming
Coming off an impactful season where the Bengals made their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, standout safety Jessie Bates was hoping to be rewarded with a new contract.
Cincinnati, however, placed the franchise tag on Bates, which would pay him around $13.5M in 2022.
Today’s 4 P.M. deadline marked the final opportunity for franchise-tagged players to secure a long-term contract. Bates, who has yet to sign his tender, can skip all of training camp without getting fined since he’s technically not under contract.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Cincinnati’s final offer to Bates guaranteed just $4M more than the salary he’s due to make next season.
For the #Bengals and star S Jessie Bates: The team’s final offer guaranteed Bates only $4M more than what he would get if he eventually signs the franchise tag. Big difference is the tag locks Bates in for one year while the Bengals’ offer locked him in for 5 additional years.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 15, 2022
Per multiple reports, Bates has no intention of signing or playing under the franchise tag.
“Hopefully, I’m not under a franchise tag,” Bates told the NFL Network in February. “That’s something that needs to be discussed as NFLPA a little bit. Some of the top guys got hurt under a franchise tag. It’s tough; you only get one shot at this. You just got to play your cards right, I guess you could say.”
After watching Marcus Williams and Justin Reid, amongst others at his position, get paid this offseason, it’s hard to argue with him. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, a trade may be on the horizon — especially after the Bengals drafted Daxton Hill in the first round of April’s draft.
Where does this all leave the Eagles?
Philadelphia brought in veteran safety Jaquiski Tartt on a one-year deal to compete with Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps, but the 30-year-old is a stop-gap option at best.
Roseman has never been bashful about star hunting, as evidenced during the draft when he acquired Pro Bowl receiver AJ Brown. If he wants to solidify another critical position, pursuing Bates makes a lot of sense. The Eagles would have to get an extension done prior to the trade, however, similar to what they did with Darius Slay and AJ Brown.
Bates’ market value is roughly $14.8M/year, and he’ll probably command more, so Roseman would have to maneuver the cap to make it work — something he is very educated in doing.
The 25-year-old has tallied 408 tackles, 35 passes defended and ten interceptions in his first four years with Cincinnati. His 90.3 coverage grade since 2020 is the third-highest among DBs.
Adding Bates to a revamped defense that already boasts Jordan Davis, Kyzir White and James Bradberry would have the team poised for a division title and a potential playoff run.
JESSIE BATES INTERCEPTS STAFFORD IN THE END ZONE 🍿— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2022
Mandatory Credit: Bengals.com