The Cincinnati Bengals and veteran safety Jessie Bates III are not expected to reach an agreement on a new contract, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Bates and the Bengals will have to agree to a new deal by the 4 p.m. ET deadline on July 15, or he will have to play the 2022 season on the franchise tag.
The Bengals placed the $12.91 million franchise tag on Bates in March. However, the veteran has "no intentions" of playing the 2022 campaign on the franchise tag, according to Tyler Dragon of USA Today Sports+.
Bates also said during an appearance on NFL Now in February that he was against playing on the franchise tag (via NFL.com's Adam Maya):
"Hopefully, I'm not under a franchise tag. That's something that needs to be discussed as NFLPA a little bit. Some of the top guys got hurt under a franchise tag. It's tough; you only get one shot at this. You just got to play your cards right, I guess you could say."
In addition, Bengals veteran cornerback Mike Hilton advocated for Bates to receive an extension while speaking with Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer in May:
"Yeah, we've been talking all offseason. Everybody in that locker room wants Jessie to get what he deserves. We know as a team, he's a cornerstone piece for this franchise.
"On my end, I'm going to do what I can do to keep pushing and keep putting it out there for him to sign long term. If it happens, great. But also, everybody knows the business side of the NFL. And nobody would be upset or pissed at him if he didn't show up or he ended up going somewhere else. It's just part of the game. But he knows that everybody in this locker room wants him here."
According to Spotrac's market-value projections, Bates could earn a five-year, $80.2 million deal. Such a contract would make him one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL.
Bates has spent his entire four-year career with the Bengals, who selected him in the second round of the 2018 draft out of Wake Forest.
The 25-year-old has been a staple in Cincinnati's secondary since breaking onto the scene during his rookie year. During the 2021 campaign, he posted one interception, four pass breakups, one fumble recovery and 88 tackles.
During the Bengals' run to the Super Bowl in the postseason, he recorded two interceptions, six pass breakups and 20 tackles in four games.