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Bengals use franchise tag on Jessie Bates, per report

Jessie Bates III will stay in Cincinnati for at least another year as the team placed the franchise tag on the 24-year-old safety.

NFL: FEB 13 Super Bowl LVI - Bengals v Rams Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals utilized the franchise tag to keep Jessie Bates on their roster for at least another season, per Ian Rapoport. Bates gets a fully guaranteed one-year contract, reportedly worth about $13.5 million. It locks the safety into another season in Cincinnati after a run to the Super Bowl, and gives the team some time to work out a long-term deal with him.

The Bengals have around $50 million of available cap space and seemed to have no trouble spending $13.5 million of it on locking down Bates for another year. The 24-year-old has been with the Bengals since 2018, now with four seasons under his belt.

He’s coming off of a four-year contract worth $4.9 million, and will easily be earning a pay raise in the long run, should the two sides come to a long-term deal before July 15. Regardless, the $13.5 million salary guaranteed next year with a franchise tag will be a significant increase for the safety.

Issuing the tag is a no-brainer for the Cincinnati front office who will likely want to keep him around long-term, as he’s been incredibly effective against both run and pass offenses. He logged 88 total tackles in 2021, with 67 of them coming as solos. He notched a single interception last season, which just happened to come at a pivotal moment in Super Bowl 56, giving the Bengals their first turnover of the game and preventing a Rams touchdown late in the second quarter.