One of the most impactful players on the Cincinnati Bengals' roster is reportedly unwilling to play under the franchise tag.
Per USA Today's Tyler Dragon, "Bengals safety Jessie Bates has no intentions of playing under franchise tag, per a person close to the situation. He's not expected to attend OTAs or report to training camp."
The NFL world reacted to the interesting developments Tuesday.
"Ouch," a Chiefs fan replied.
"Greed is striking the Bengals organization early," said another. "Bates definitely deserves the bag, Let’s see how they work thru it."
"Bengals fans turning on Bates is just absurd & ridiculous," commented another user.
"Bates and his agent are doing exactly what they should be doing to maximize value," tweeted another. The Bengals, this OS, did everything to maximize & protect their returns. This is a business. IMO Bengals have immense leverage ($14M + SB Team + replacement) so I think this works out for them."
"The duality of NFL fanbases’ can always be seen around contract time. During the regular season Jessie Bates III is the best safety in football and a fan favorite. Now that he’d like to get paid he’s not very good, not worth the money, and wasn’t impactful."
Bates has been a steady presence on the backside of the Bengals defense since being drafted out of Wake Forest in 2018.