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The Bengals and S Jessie Bates reportedly didn't come close to reaching a longer-term deal before Friday's deadline for franchise-tagged players. That leaves Bates to play out 2022 on the tag, and likely means he'll be finding a new team after the season. Bates struggled early last year and admitted that the lack of a new contract had distracted him. We'd bet on him not getting caught up in the same cycle this time around. Bates has spent most of his career as a strong IDP performer at an inconsistent position. We'd feel comfy drafting him in 2022.

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7:50am EDT 8/23/22

Bengals S Jessie Bates has re-joined the team to play out the season under the franchise tag, according to multiple reports. Bates skipped training camp after he and the team failed to work out a longer-term extension. (It wasn't technically a holdout, because he wasn't under contract.) Returning now still gives him a little more than 2 weeks to be ready for the regular-season opener. We haven't moved Bates down our IDP rankings at all through his absence. We'll watch to make sure he's on track for a full start to the year.

The Bengals are applying the franchise tag to S Jessie Bates III. The move keeps the star safety from hitting unrestricted free agency. We'll see whether the 2 sides can reach agreement on a long-term deal, though. Bates admitted during the 2021 season that distraction over his lack of a contract extension was inhibiting his play. His performance rebounded. Now we'll see about the relationship. Bates posted his worst fantasy season among 4 years in 2021, with the primary culprit a lack of coverage plays. He averaged 10.3 passes defensed through his 1st 3 campaigns, snagging 3 INTs each year. Last season found Bates collecting just 1 INT and 4 passes defensed.

The Bengals have ruled S Jessie Bates out for Thursday night's game against the Jaguars with a neck injury. We haven't seen any indication yet this is expected to be a multi-week issue, but we'll watch for updates. It'll either be Sean Davis or Brandon Wilson filling in.

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