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Bengals Cornerback Mike Hilton: 'Extend Jessie Bates'

"Put that in there."

CINCINNATI — The Bengals have a big game against the Ravens this Sunday in Baltimore, but that isn't stopping veteran cornerback Mike Hilton from letting everyone know how he feels about star safety Jessie Bates. 

Hilton fielded questions about Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Le'Veon Bell and the Ravens for over seven minutes on Wednesday afternoon. Then, just as his news conference was ending, Hilton weighed in on Bates' contract situation. 

"Extend Jessie Bates," he said. "Put that in there!" he yelled while walking away. 

No one asked about Bates or his future. The 24-year-old is in the final year of his rookie contract. He's made it clear that he wants to sign a long-term deal with the Bengals, but the two sides were too far apart in their negotiations during training camp. 

"It’s awesome they support their teammates. That’s one glimpse of our locker room," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said of Hilton's comments. "They like playing with each other, they want to continue to play with each other. They’re going to support each other. That’s a positive thing."

Bates is second on the team with 35 tackles, but his coverage abilities, range and leadership are a big reason why the Bengals' defense has been successful this season.

"He has been a tremendous leader for us and a captain. He has always been a mature guy, I got here during his second year and you see him continue to professionally mature," Taylor said. "The game has slowed down for him, he understands his role as a leader, what that means and what that looks like. Jessie has been really fun to watch him continue to evolve as a football player and a leader. He has done a great job for us."

Bates and the Bengals are stuck trying to slow down Jackson and the Ravens on Sunday. Watch Hilton and Taylor's comments in the video below.

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