Jessie Bates III and the Bengals have been a consistent matchup for the past four years, but now it’s unclear when, or if, these two sides will meet again. Friday’s deadline for franchise players to sign long-term contracts came and went without a new contract for the veteran defenseman. Now, it’s Bates with no intention of playing under the tag in 2022, it’s fair to wonder: is it just a matter of time until they fit in somewhere else?

Both Bates and the Bengals have made it clear that they want to be together, but money talks — or, at this point, they don’t talk — and the truth is that the All-Pro defensive end now has three options in front of him: 1 .) sign and play under the tag ; 2) being outside in the weather; or 3.) request an ad.

The first option is the easiest, allowing Bates to try free agency again in 2023, but it involves an injury risk without long-term security. A longer wait would allow Bates to avoid injury in the game but would likely only delay the inevitable split, and he would also need to return at least six games to avoid losing the season that was returned to 2023 free agency. The sale, meanwhile, would bring strong opposition from the Bengals, who could keep Bates until 2024 with two consecutive tags, but would allow both sides to “benefit” from failing to reach a long-term contract.

If Bates is determined to stay out instead of playing under the tag, and the Bengals are interested in a star safety, here are eight teams that could be contenders:

He had a lot of money in improving the list of Robert Saleh, especially in defense. And combining Bates with freshman starter Jordan Whitehead would give them a strong backcourt duo. Lamarcus Joyner, now 31 years old and injury-prone, is well served off the bench. But will general manager Joe Douglas really break the bank for Bates when he couldn’t do for Jamal Adams or Marcus Maye, and after already giving Whitehead a nice salary (up to $14.5 million)?

It’s as simple as this: Ron Rivera is a defensive guy, and the weakest link in his strong defense is the secondary, especially the defense. Washington has financial flexibility heading into 2022, and depending on how Carson Wentz does at quarterback, they could save millions by retooling the cap in 2023. .

Jimmie Ward has quietly but steadily risen to become one of San Francisco’s top players behind a tough “D,” but Jaquiski Tartt and hybrid linebacker Marcell Harris, who combined to start 21 games in 2021, are both gone. Their replacement, Talanoa Hufanga, a 2021 fifth-round pick, saw limited action as a rookie. The 49ers are counting on relying more on their defense to make another head push now that Trey Lance is taking over at QB, but they already did a lot of damage to Charvarius Ward.

Despite the trade of Matt Ryan, it is clear that the Colts are built to win with their defense in 2022. And the one place that does not have the truth is the defense, after the D-line (DeForest Buckner), linebackers. (Darius Leonard) and corner (Stephon Gilmore or Kenny Moore). Rodney McLeod is solid, if he should be number 3, and he is a loaner. Justin Blackmon, meanwhile, is promising but coming off a torn Achilles. As a bonus, Bates was born and raised in Indiana.

When will Bill Belichick be considered the biggest name on the block? Both Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger have done good things at the position thanks to their solid defense, but Devin McCourty will be 35 years old this year, and JC Jackson will be gone after shooting for the Chargers in free agency. Bates could help offset the loss of a difference maker and could fill a number of roles for Belichick, who still has an old-school style of defense.

New GM Dave Ziegler has already proven that he is ready to go to school or go home, so why not move on? His safe room isn’t dry, with 2021 second baseman Trevon Moehrig starting all 17 games as a rookie, but tight end Johnathan Abram may or may not be in their long-term plans after declining his five-year option. . In the high-flying AFC West, proven secondary pieces are valuable, and they have plenty of money ($21.6M in remaining 2022 cap space) to pay Bates up front.

Dallas already has two NFL defensive players in Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. Imagine if they used some of the $22.5M in remaining 2022 cap space to make Bates part of the equation. Jayron Kearse was a force to be reckoned with in 2021, but he has just one season left as a starter in the NFL. Malik Hooker is fine, too, but he hasn’t played all season and isn’t breaking the bank with his re-signing. Jerry Jones loves a good burst, and this could help boost their defensive aspirations in the short and long term.

If there’s one team that’s made the most moves at any key position this season, it’s the Eagles, who have addressed the holes at receiver (AJ Brown), defensive end (Jordan Davis), pass rusher (Haason Reddick), linebacker (Kyzir). White) and back (James Bradberry). The last thing left is the defense, where Jaquiski Tartt has stepped up as a camp competitor but Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps are working as place starters. Trade-happy GM Howie Roseman admitted he’s struggling to find long-term solutions on defense through the draft, and he practices and preaches the importance of creating a sick roster. So Bates, who played on a Bengals team that recruited Eagles assistant coach Jemal Singleton, represents a good answer to a quiet NFC East contender.

Source link