After playing on the franchise tag with the Cincinnati Bengals last season, Jessie Bates has struck gold in free agency by signing a four-year, $64.02 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. The deal includes $36 million guaranteed, per Mike Garafolo.
A second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Bates became one of the better safeties in the league early in his career, earning All-Rookie Team honors.
Thanks to a potentially massive increase in salary if the Bengals placed the franchise tag on Bates for a second time, the former Wake Forest star was able to hit unrestricted free agency this year.
Bates recorded a career-high four interceptions last season while also forcing a fumble and tallying 71 total tackles. The Bengals will need last year’s first-rounder Daxton Hill to step up in Bates’ absence.