The Bengals can sign Bates to a long-term deal or they can use their franchise tag before the March 8 deadline to ensure he stays in Cincinnati. The tag will come with a salary of about $13 million, but it won’t offer any security after 2022. Bates noted this while expressing his desire to avoid the tag while appearing on the NFL Network.
“I think this is a conversation we’re going to have with my agency and my team,” Bates said. “I put so much faith in them in this whole process. I’m just trying to stay focused, and be in control of what I can. We’ll see. I hope I’m not under the franchise. This is something that should be discussed as a little bit NFLPA. Some of the top players have been hurt under the franchise.” It’s hard or rough; you only have one chance at this. You just have to play your cards Right, I guess you could say.”
Bates said he’s “not too concerned about the ego part being the highest security pay” and wants to stay with the Bengals, but recognizes his value as he heads toward discussions about his future in Cincinnati.