Jessie Bates III returns to Cincinnati Bengals facility, intends to sign franchise tender, source confirms

Cincinnati Bengals star safety Jessie Bates III returned to the team facility Tuesday after missing training camp and intends to sign his franchise bid, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Bates failed to secure a long-term renewal this offseason with the Bengals, who staked the $12.911 million franchise tag on the fifth-year safety in March.

The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported on Bates’ return to the Bengals’ facility.

Bates, 25, played a pivotal role in helping the Bengals reach their first Super Bowl in 33 years. In four postseason games, he had six pass deflections, 20 tackles and two interceptions, including a pick in the Bengals’ 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LVI. He started in 15 games last season and made 88 tackles with one interception, four passes defended and one fumble recovery.

Contract negotiations between Bates and the Bengals have stalled for the past two years. The Bengals have repeatedly said they want to secure Bates a long-term deal, but Cincinnati has several young stars on hold for lucrative deals over the next few years, including franchise quarterback Joe Burrow and receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Bengals team president Mike Brown said last month the situation was “a mystery” and “it just doesn’t all add up perfectly.”

“We’re going to have some pluses,” Brown said during the Bengals’ annual media luncheon. “We’re going to sign some guys who are vital to the team and we’re going to lose some guys.”

ESPN’s Ben Baby contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34446145/jessie-bates-iii-returns-cincinnati-bengals-facility-intends-sign-franchise-tender-source-confirms Jessie Bates III returns to Cincinnati Bengals facility, intends to sign franchise tender, source confirms

Emma Bowman

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