Top Free Agent Safety Jessie Bates Signing With New Team: Report

By Jason Hall

March 13, 2023

NFL: DEC 11 Browns at Bengals
Photo: Getty Images

Former Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Falcons, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday (March 13).

"It's a 4-year deal for $16.005M per year. Wow. 4th highest paid in NFL history," Rapoport tweeted.

Bates, 26, a second-team All-Pro selection in 2020, is widely regarded as the top free agent at his position for the 2022 offseason and was reportedly part of Atlanta's plan to be in free agency, according to NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe.

"Falcons land one of NFL’s best safeties Jessie Bates at big money. Falcons planned to be aggressive in FA after being quiet the last couple of years. Bates is a big one to reshape D and they aren’t done yet," Wolfe tweeted.

The Bengals had placed a franchise tag on Bates valued at $12.9 million fully guaranteed following a holdout last offseason. The former Wake Forest standout was selected by the Bengals at No. 54 overall in the second-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Bates recorded 463 tackles, 13 interceptions, 37 pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown during his first five NFL seasons, which 71 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass deflections, one forced fumble and one tackle for loss in 2022.

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