The fifth-year participant who signed his franchise tender on Tuesday mentioned he is viewing the upcoming 2022 season as an opportunity to once more showcase his abilities forward of a possible payday.
“It is an awesome alternative to proceed to current what I am about, who I’m to this franchise and different groups as nicely,” Bates mentioned on Wednesday. “Like I mentioned, I am this as a chance to show that I am the most effective safeties on this league.”
The previous Wake Forest standout held his first information convention since he rejoined the group this week. Bates didn’t take part within the group’s offseason exercises or the vast majority of coaching camp after the Bengals and Bates failed to come back to phrases on a long-term contract.
Final season, the 25-year-old was voted a group captain and had two interceptions within the postseason, together with one within the Tremendous Bowl LVI loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Bates mentioned he had loads of ideas on the appropriate time to return. He opted to come back again per week earlier than camp formally ended and proper because the group prepares for 2 joint practices in opposition to the Rams.
He’s at present on the commissioner’s exempt record. The group has as much as two weeks to make use of that roster exemption however can totally activate him at any time. Bates mentioned he’ll take part in particular person drills however not group drills at Wednesday’s follow.
Bates is ready to earn $12.9 million on this yr’s franchise tender, which is a one-year contract. Bates and the Bengals can’t have interaction in contract discussions till this yr is over.
Cincinnati drafted former Michigan security Dax Hill within the first spherical of this yr’s draft. Hill has been the group’s beginning free security in Bates’ absence and had an interception within the group’s preseason sport in opposition to the New York Giants on Aug. 21.
Bates mentioned Wednesday he understood the enterprise element of the NFL.
“I used to be drafted right here within the second spherical and so they had two starters right here as nicely,” Bates mentioned. “It is a cycle, man. It is a part of the league. It is the uncomfortable conversations, like I mentioned, that lots of people keep away from. “I am right here. I do know what I am about.”