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Minkah Fitzpatrick's Deal Has Ended Jessie Bates's Future With Bengals

"It's all but over" between the Cincinnati Bengals and Jessie Bates.

The Cincinnati Bengals and safety Jessie Bates are closer to the end than signing a new contract, according to The Athletic's Paul Dehner. The two sides are now further apart following the Pittsburgh Steelers record-breaking extension for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

After drafting Daxton Hill and Tycen Anderson in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bengals prepared to move on from Bates moving forward. They're hoping he signs his franchise tag for the 2022 season, but a long-term deal is all but over, according to Dehner. 

"Any shot of a long-term deal getting done in July just moved from four percent to less than one percent," Dehner wrote. "The Bengals will not be paying that kind of money. Fitzpatrick’s contract essentially ensures Bates will land in the vicinity of that type of deal if he hits free agency in March. Somebody will pay it. It won’t be the Bengals."

Dehner says Bates's best option is to play under the tag this season and hit the open market next year to cash in. However, there is a chance he sits out in 2022 and eliminates the risk before jumping into free agency. 

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