There hasn’t been much to like about the Bengals’ results in recent seasons, but they have found a productive piece for their defense in safety Jessie Bates.
The 2018 second-round pick stepped right into the starting lineup in Cincinnati and he has not looked back. Bates has started all 48 games the Bengals have played the last three years and he’s posted more than 100 tackles each season. He’s also had nine interceptions, which makes it easy to see why he feels he’s become an essential part of the defense.
Bates’ contract is up after the 2021 season, but he said he would like to remain in that position for years to come.
“Obviously, I feel like I’m a core piece in Cincinnati,” Bates said, via Laurel Pfahler of the Dayton Daily News. “My family is three hours away, so I would love to be here. My main goal is to take that next level that I keep saying as a leader on this team. The money part of it will come. I just want to win. That’s all I care about is winning. The money part of it will come. Not just for me, but for everybody in this program.”
The next few weeks are often a time that teams talk to players about extensions, so something could happen before camp for Bates. If not, another year like his first three should put Bates in a good position to find that money with the Bengals or somewhere else.