By: PJ O’Keefe
CINCINNATI — Bengals Safety Jessie Bates has finally signed the designated franchise tag with the team.
The Bengals announced Bates was re-signed Tuesday morning to play with the Bengals in 2022 for a reported salary of $13 million.
Bates, who was a team captain in the AFC Champion season last year, was originally a second-round pick by the Bengals in 2018. The 25-year-old’s rookie contract expired, and the Bengals designated him with the team’s franchise tag, allowing them to retain him for an additional year without a full contract extension.
Bates had been vocal in the offseason about not wanting to play without a full contract extension.
The fifth-year vet did not sign the franchise tag and did not report to training camp. He has not participated in any team activities to this point.
The Bengals said Bates will have a roster exemption for up to two weeks, though he can be activated at any time. It’s possible the Bengals incorporate him into the team as early as this week when the team has joint practices against its Super Bowl opponent, the Los Angeles Rams. Those practices start Wednesday before the team’s play a preseason game on Saturday.
Bates has started each of his 63 games in his four seasons with Cincinnati. He has 10 interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 35 passes defensed and 406 tackles in that time. He will bolster the already strong Bengals defense in their bid to return to the Super Bowl.
Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.