Bengals free safety Jessie Bates III has changed representation and hired David Mulugheta of Athletes First, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Mulugheta counts Earl Thomas, Landon Collins, and other elite safeties among his clients. Bates, 23, could be in line for a big payday of his own someday.
The former second-round pick has two years left on his inexpensive rookie deal, but he’s already looking ahead to his next contract. Bates has started in every possible game over the past two seasons, racking up 211 tackles and six interceptions along the way. After celebrating his 23rd birthday in February, he could be poised for another major leap forward in 2020.
For now, Bates is set to earn $930 in base salary this year and slightly more in 2021 with cap hits of $1.3MM and $1.6MM, respectively. That’s an exceptional bargain for a high level free safety who is barely above the legal drinking age. The Bengals haven’t engaged in extension talks just yet, but it’ll be at the top of their agenda next spring.
In the interest of equal time: the advanced metrics weren’t all that high on Bates last year. But, as a rookie in 2018, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 ranked safety in the NFL.
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