Safety Jessie Bates is the only player not taking part in the Bengals' voluntary on-season work. Bates is looking for a long-term contract, but the Bengals have placed the franchise tag on him. The sides now have until July 15th to reach an agreement.
He is missed by the Bengals, and they will even miss him more if there is no deal and Bates continues to hold out.
Bates' team remains hopeful with just one month to complete a long-term agreement.
Joe Burrow, quarterback of the team, said Tuesday that Jessie is a major part of the team via video by Caleb Noe from WCPO. You can price his work on the field but not on his time in the locker room. He has been a man who has helped to build what we do here. He was among the first. Jessie is exactly the type of player you would want to reward for all he has done over the past four years, through both the good and bad times. He was not here for three years, so we weren't great. He has been through it all. We are hopeful that everything will work out in his favor.
"I know he is working hard in the weight room right now. He looks great. He will be available to go whenever he arrives. Business is business. He has to take care what he needs to, but I know when it is time to show up, and he will be ready to go.
Burrow stated that he and Bates will soon be on a trip to Las Vegas together.
The Bengals were able to cover all bases, drafting safety Daxton Hills and defensive back Cam Taylor Brit in the first two rounds. They also added safety Tycen Arthur at No. 166 overall. Bates is not involved in any of these.
In three of the last four seasons, Bates had at least 100 tackles.
Bates' four-year career includes 408 tackles, 35 pass defenses, and 10 interceptions. He has played in 63 games.