Cincinnati — The NFL’s free agency is months away, but the major rankings are starting to creep up.
NFL Network’s Greg Rosenthal recently released a list, citing two Bengal safeties, Jesse Bates and Von Bell.
Both players have had solid contract seasons, with Bates (71.4 PFF grade) checking in in 11th and Bell (63.7 PFF grade) in 43rd.
“Bates playing in the franchise tag is likely to leave Cincinnati after the Bengals drafted his replacement (Duxton Hill) in Round 1 last year,” Rosenthal wrote. It may be more valuable to teams that play high safety more, but there are fewer of those teams every year.”
Bates has tallied 63 tackles this season, a career-high three INTs, and added seven pass breakups. can set a career high.
Bell set a career-high with 4 INTs so far in the 2022 season, with 7 PBUs and 73 tackles.
“A great free agent that the Bengals acquired three years ago, Bell is a tight end stopper,” Rosenthal wrote.
A return from Bates next season will come as a surprise, but Bell could very easily sign a second deal in Cincinnati.
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