The Cincinnati Bengals could be about to hit something of a problem with one of their better players Jessie Bates.
The Cincinnati Bengals were certainly something of a surprise package in the NFL last season, as they turned a team that had won 12 games over the previous three seasons into a 10-win team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl before falling short against the Los Angeles Rams.
Most of that was led by their incredible offence led by Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon, with their defence ranking pretty much in the middle of the pack in most areas, 15th in terms of yards given up, 18th in turnovers and 14th in terms of touchdowns conceded.
But their defence would have been a lot worse were it not for the presence of safety Jessie Bates, who put in 88 combined tackles, a team-leading 67 solo tackles, 1 interception and 4 pass deflections as he patrolled the middle of the field.
However, according to a report, the Bengals might not be seeing too much of him in the coming months.
On his own terms
According to a report from USA Today, Bates, who was assigned the franchise tag by the team in March, is yet to sign his tender, and doesn’t have any desire to. The report claims that “Despite Bates’ expressed interest in a long-term deal, negotiations have stalled. He isn’t expected to attend OTAs or training camp if the two sides can’t come to terms on a multi-year extension.”
So it looks as if the Bengals could be in for a hold out from Bates in the coming months, whereby he sits out training camp and other offseason events until he gets the long-term extension that he wants.
A dangerous risk
As the stats show, the Bengals certainly need him in the team in order to play a part in their efforts to try and repeat what they were able to do last season so Bates does have some power in this situation knowing what he brings to them.
But witholding services from a team is always a bit of a dangerous move for a player to make, especially if it costs them valuable preparation time ahead of a new season, a season where you would hope Bates would want to go one step further than last and could also hurt his conditioning that might make him susceptible to injuries next year.
So certainly one to keep an eye out to see who ends up blinking first.