Rumor: Eagles “inquiring” about star safety Jessie Bates
Standout safety Jessie Bates has been a hot name since the conclusion of last season.
After helping the Bengals reach their first Super Bowl in 33 years, Bates hoped to be rewarded with a new contract. Cincinnati, however, placed the franchise tag on Bates, which would pay him around $13.5M in 2022.
As last Friday’s 4 P.M. tag deadline neared, the Bengals presented Bates with one final offer that guaranteed just $4M more than the salary he’s due next season.
Needless to say, Bates’ camp was less than enthused and rejected the deal, continuing their long-winded holdout. As Bates has made it clear he isn’t playing under the tag, only two options remain for Cincinnatti: hope that he shows up for work once the fines start rolling in, or trade the disgruntled safety to a new team.
As far as potential trade partners for Bates, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently listed Philadelphia as the top destination:
“If there’s one team that’s made a big move at pretty much every position of need this offseason, it’s the Eagles, who addressed holes at receiver (A.J. Brown), defensive tackle (Jordan Davis), pass rusher (Haason Reddick), linebacker (Kyzir White) and cornerback (James Bradberry). The last one left is safety, where Jaquiski Tartt has come aboard as camp competition but Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps are serving as placeholder starters.
Trade-happy GM Howie Roseman has admittedly struggled to identify long-term answers at safety via the draft, and he practices and preaches the importance of patient roster-building. So Bates, who played on a Bengals team that employed current Eagles assistant head coach Jemal Singleton, represents the ideal solution for a quiet NFC East contender.”
Following his piece, Benjamin appeared on 94WIP’s Morning Show stating that Eagles GM Howie Roseman is undoubtedly “inquiring” about the star safety:
“I think there is no question that Howie Roseman is inquiring about this, because Jessie Bates plays the position, the one position really that the Eagles didn’t address with a major upgrade this offseason.
“An extra second-round pick with maybe a conditional pick this year, to me that starts to move the needle because then you’re taking the burden off of the Bengals to pay him huge money,” Benjamin said.
Philadelphia brought in veteran Jaquiski Tartt on a one-year deal to compete with Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps in camp, but he’s 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 25-year-old has tallied 408 tackles, 35 passes defended and ten interceptions in his first four years with the Bengals. His 90.3 coverage grade since 2020 is the third-highest among DBs.
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Mandatory Credit: Bengals.com