Bengals S Jessie Bates is experiencing a third-year breakout. The former second-round pick out of Wake Forest in 2018 has picked off three passes each of his first three seasons, but in 2020 Bates ratcheted his pass defenses up to 15 and dramatically cut down on his missed tackles from last year. It didn’t result in a Pro Bowl nod this year, but it very well could result in a lucrative contract extension next summer.
“As long as the Bengals and I have an agreement on everything, I would love to stay here,” Bates said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “I’m sure those questions are going to come up a lot right after the season because I’m having success, I’m only 23 years old. There’s a lot of positives that’s to my gain, but who knows what the Bengals think. You just never know. That’s the part of this business. I try to just go out there and control as much as I can as far as on the field, off the field, making sure my family is taken care of. And just small stuff, living right, just working hard, just the principles my mom raised me off of. You just try to do that and let guys figure that other stuff out.”
- Bengals HC Zac Taylor said QB Brandon Allen is ready to play “if we need him,” suggesting he might not be the starter this week. (Jay Morrison)
- The Bengals won’t have DT D.J. Reader this week to play his former team, the Texans, but Taylor said Cincinnati is thrilled with what it got out of Reader in 2020: “We’d heard about him from people we knew. He was all about ball. Total professional good person. The tape speaks for itself. We felt like he could be a three-down player for us.” (Aaron Wilson)
- Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said S Ronnie Harrison looked good at practice but he’s unlikely to play against the Jets this week. (Scott Petrak)
- The Browns are bringing in G Cordel Iwuagwu for a visit this week. (Aaron Wilson)
- Browns placed LT Jedrick Wills Jr. and WR Ryan Switzer on the COVID-19 list. (NFLTR)
- According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens HC John Harbaugh said no teams have requested interviews with OC Greg Roman or DC Don Martindale yet.
- The NFL changed its policy to allow virtual interviews with candidates who are still working for teams but Harbaugh noted it’s a weird time for coaches to interview.