However, that possibility is being threatened by the fact that he hasn’t signed his franchise tag.
Worst yet, both parties haven’t agreed to a long-term deal as the July 15 deadline lapsed.
Therefore, Bates could hold out during training camp without incurring a fine.
Money is the central issue for both parties because they couldn’t agree on a price.
In this video from “Good Morning Football,” Bates’ camp is seeking a deal with an annual average value near the $18 million cap which is the ceiling of the safety market.
However, the Bengals are willing to pay near the tag level at around $12 million annually.
The team is offering that amount with good reason, as pointed out by Sports Illustrated’s Blake Jewell.
You can’t blame the Bengals for wanting to conserve cap space for higher value positions and you absolutely can’t blame Jessie Bates for wanting to maximize his earnings.
Just a tough situation that happens when you have a good roster.
— Blake Jewell (@BlakeJewellNFL) July 15, 2022
Jewell said, “You can’t blame the Bengals for wanting to conserve cap space for higher value positions and you absolutely can’t blame Jessie Bates for wanting to maximize his earnings. Just a tough situation that happens when you have a good roster.”
The Bengals are clearing cap space for quarterback Joe Burrow because he will already be eligible for a contract extension after 2022.
Therefore, they will need every dollar they can save because Burrow can command an average value of at least $40 million annually.
More Big Money Extensions Coming Up
That list doesn’t even include Ja’Marr Chase, who could reset the wide receiver market if he continues to do exceptionally well.
The Bengals would have to devote a big chunk of their salary cap to retain their top two players on offense.
Unfortunately, there will be casualties along the way and Bates could be one of them.
As much as Cincinnati wants to retain him, they are gearing up for the greater good.