CINCINNATI — Jessie Bates established himself as one of the NFL's best safeties last season.
The 24-year-old not only became a leader in the Bengals' locker room, he developed into one of their best players on the field. He compiled 109 tackles, three interceptions and 15 passes defensed in 2020.
Bates is entering the final year of his contract and both he and the Bengals want to get an extension done before the season starts in September.
"I'm super eager to get a deal done. Obviously, I want to be here," Bates said on Thursday. "I think my mom's a little bit more eager, just because she wants to know whether she's gonna move to Cincinnati maybe. So, you know, that's ongoing talk that I'm very excited about. "
Bates has seen guys like Joe Mixon and Sam Hubbard get rewarded for their contributions to the team. The star safety will command more money than either of those guys, but he's confident that his agent David Mulugheta will be able to strike a deal with Katie Blackburn, who handles all of the Bengals' contracts.
"I think it's really cool to see guys get drafted here, play well and then get rewarded for it," Bates said. "I wish it was done today, obviously, but there are negotiations that have to happen between my agent and you know, upstairs. So, that's a process like I said I'm eager about, but it'll happen when it's supposed to happen. I truly believe that."
Bates is the Bengals' best defensive player. He's at the top of their priority list when it comes to potential extensions. It would be surprising if they couldn't get a deal done with him between now and the start of the season.
Our own Mike Santagata did a great film breakdown of Bates. Check it out here.
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