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Joe Burrow Makes Opinion On Bengals' Holdout Situation Very Clear

Cincinnati Bengals second-year quarterback Joe Burrow on the field.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow isn't the only player on the team who isn't practicing right now. Star safety Jessie Bates has yet to join the team for training camp due to a contract dispute.

Bates has not signed his franchise tag, meaning he is not yet under contract with the team for the 2022 season. He can't sign an extension with the team after missing the deadline, so the ball is in Bates' court as far as when he chooses to sign and play.

But Burrow harbors no ill-will against Bates for not being with the team right now. Speaking to the media, Burrow made it clear that the team will "welcome him back with open arms" once he finally does rejoin the team.

“Jessie’s business is his business..." Burrow said. "When he’s ready to come back, we’ll be excited to have him. Obviously, a great player, great person, great friend. So when his business is over, we’ll welcome him back with open arms.”

Jessie Bates has been a key piece of the Cincinnati Bengals defense since his rookie season in 2018. He has over 400 tackles, 10 interceptions, 35 passes defended, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five tackles for loss and three QB hits.

Bates hasn't made the Pro Bowl yet, but he did earn Second-Team All-Pro honors in 2020. 

He played a big role on defense during the Bengals playoff run this past year. In four postseason games he made 20 tackles, two interceptions and six defended passes.

Will Jessie Bates return to the Bengals in time for the start of the season?