The Bengals are not progressing toward a deal with safety Jessie Bates III on a contract extension, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports. Thus, Bates is not expected to get a contract extension “at this time.”
Bates, 24, said earlier this summer he would like to stay in Cincinnati. The Bengals surely are motivated to try to keep Bates off the free agent market in 2022, having seen his development the past three seasons since they made him a second-round choice.
Bates is scheduled to make $2.433 million in base salary this season.
He has started all 48 games in his three seasons and made more than 100 tackles each season. Bates has nine career interceptions, including three last season.
Many teams and many agents don’t like continuing contract talks into the season, as it could become a distraction, so the sides might not get back to the negotiating table until after the season. That could mean the Bengals will have to use the franchise tag on Bates in 2022 to keep him from hitting the open market.
Bates is practicing with the team, not “holding in,” or at least not yet.