Bates has not been at voluntary OTAs and Dragon says he has no plans of showing up at any point this spring, including for mandatory minicamp.
The two sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal before the negotiating window closes until 2023. If Bates remains unsigned, Dragon adds a holdout from training camp is on the table.
Bates has been tagged, but because he has yet to sign the tender, he’s not technically under contract with the team and cannot be fined for missing offseason activities.
If Bates were to sit out during the regular season, similar to RB Le’Veon Bell when he was tagged by the Steelers in 2018, he would start to miss game checks from the $12.911 million tag.
Bates has made it clear he’s looking for an extension that puts him at or near the top of the safety market, which right now is $17.5 million a year.
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 in 2022 when the Bengals placed the franchise tag on him worth $12.911 million fully guaranteed.
In 2021, Bates appeared in 15 games for the Bengals and recorded 88 tackles, one interception, a fumble recovery, and four pass deflections.
We’ll have more on Bates as the news is available.