With Eagles training camp just a week away now, there’s still plenty of speculation of what Howie Roseman may have up his sleeve to close out his solid offseason. The name that fans can’t seem to let go of is Bengals safety Jessie Bates, who has not gotten a long-term deal done with Cincy and has said publicly that he will not play under the franchise tag in 2022.
The deadline to sign franchised players to long-term deals has already passed, so Bates is stuck with the tag for this season. With his one-year deal set in stone, it makes any trade scenario for Bates a little more difficult. Not many teams are willing to give up draft compensation for a guy who could theoretically leave after just one season.
Howie prides himself in retaining his talent, so chances are he’d be able to get a deal done with Bates next offseason. The Eagles organization rarely lets their young talent walk out the door for nothing.
Regardless, the fact that Bates is under a one-year deal and can’t resign immediately will affect how much teams are willing to give up for him in a trade package. The Bengals have no leverage in this situation. If Bates sticks to his word and doesn’t show up, the Bengals will have no choice but to play ball. At the end of the day, they’d much rather get something for Bates than let him walk at the end of the season for nothing.
Under the tag, Bates is set to make $12.9 million this year. According to OverTheCap, Philly is working with about $9M at the moment, so Howie will need to do some finagling to make sure Bates fits under the payroll. Howie can create ~$4M in cap space in his sleep. So again, this wouldn’t deter the Eagles from making the move.
Looking at what kind of compensation it would take to pry Bates away from Cincy, a second-round pick along with a conditional later round pick would probably get a deal done. The Eagles will have three second-round picks over the next two years. Giving up one of those to land an All-Pro talent is a no brainer.
The safety position is really the one major need that the team didn’t address in a significant way this offseason. The Jaquiski Tartt signing puts a bandaid on the wound but it’s not a long-term solution. Bates is.
On Monday, CBS Sports released their most realistic destinations for Bates if he were to get traded. As you could have probably guessed, the Eagles sat atop the list.
Suffice to say, acquiring Bates would be the icing on the cake for an already outstanding offseason from Howie and Co.
Whether he gets a deal done is still up in the air, but best believe Howie is keeping an eye on the situation. If Cincy starts taking calls, Howie will certainly be one of them.
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