Stuff that matters

Bengals safety Jessie Bates has not signed his franchise tag and he has not spent any time with the team since they used it early this offseason because he wants to sign a long-term deal with the team before Friday’s deadline to do so.

Plenty of Bates’ teammates have expressed their desire to see him get a deal, but there’s been no sign that an agreement is imminent and a recent report indicated that there’s a lack of optimism about one coming together in the next few days. Bates hasn’t made any direct comment on his contract situation in some time, but he did send out his first tweet since March on Monday night.

“Stay down. Stay grounded,” Bates wrote.

Word this offseason has been that Bates has no intentions of playing out this year under the tag, which carries a $12.91 million salary for the 2022 season. If that remains the case and a deal doesn’t come together this week, the Bengals will likely be opening camp without Bates later this month.