The Cincinnati Bengals have a decision to make when it comes to safety Jessie Bates. If you recall, Bates’ contract was up last offseason, and Cincinnati placed the franchise tag on him. He missed most of training camp while holding out for a long-term contract. However, Bates ultimately signed his franchise tag deal on August 23, 2022. What will the Bengals do this time around? We’ll break it down below.
NFL teams were able to start tagging players starting on Tuesday, February 21st with a deadline of March 7th.
Will Jessie Bates receive the franchise tag in 2023?
After the drama that played out last offseason, it would be surprising if Bates received the franchise tag in 2023. Cincinnati and Bates could not agree to a contract last year, and Bates held out of training camp while making it clear that he wanted to secure his future with a longer contract. Bates eventually signed and played under his one-year franchise tag contract, and now we are in the same position.
It’s likely the Bengals are working on a long-term deal with Bates. It remains to be seen whether or not both parties will be able to reach an agreement. Cincinnati could give Bates the franchise tag before March 7 with intention to present a long-term contract before the subsequent July 15 deadline. One thing is certain: Bates made it very clear that he did not appreciate playing under the franchise tag last season. Expect the Bengals to eventually remedy that.
Bates was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he has played all five seasons with the Bengals. He was second team All-Pro in 2020. Bates finished with 71 total tackles and a career-high four interceptions in 16 regular season games last year.