This has been expected for a while, although Bates has made it clear that he would prefer a long-term extension over the franchise tag this offseason.
He also wants to return to the Bengals, while still becoming the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
The franchise tag is projected to cost teams around $13.5 million for the safety position this offseason. Bates and the Bengals will have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal, otherwise he has to play out the 2022 season on the tag.
Bates, 25, is a former second-round pick of the Bengals back in 2018. He played out the final year of his four-year rookie contract worth $4,947,818 that included a signing bonus of $1,678,412.
Bates was set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
In 2021, Bates appeared in 15 games for the Bengals and recorded 88 tackles, one interception, a fumble recovery, and four pass deflections.
We had him included in our Top 100 – 2022 Free Agents list.