Longtime NFL safety Jessie Bates has been franchise tagged by the Cincinnati Bengals. Bates, a former second-round pick and one-time AFC champion, has spent the entirety of his career with the Bengals.
Per source, Bengals used the franchise tag on safety Jessie Bates.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 7, 2022
Jessie Bates Franchise Tagged by Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their most successful season since the 1980’s, and Bates played a large part in the team’s success. Starting and appearing in 15 games, the free safety finished the year with one interception, four passes defended, one fumble recovery, 88 tackles, one quarterback hit, and a 67.9 PFF grade. During Cincinnati’s four-game postseason run, Bates recorded 20 tackles, two interceptions, and six passes broken up. One of those interceptions came against Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 56, while the other came against Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Round.
Bates originally entered the NFL as a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Selected by the Cincinnati Bengals, Bates managed to make an impact right out of the gate. Starting and appearing in all 16 games, the Wake Forest product finished the season with three interceptions, one pick-six, seven passes broken up, and 111 tackles.
Bates proved this wasn’t a fluke in 2019. Once again starting for the entire season, the second-year pro recorded three more interceptions, nine passes broken up, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 100 combined tackles.
His best season likely came in 2020, as Bates finished the year with three interceptions, 15 passes broken up, one forced fumble, 109 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and one quarterback hit. The 15 passes defended was a career high, and he earned Second-Team All-Pro honors for his impressive campaign.
Throughout the course of his career, the Wake Forest product has recorded a combined 10 interceptions, 35 passes broken up, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 408 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, and two quarterback hits.
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