Former Bengal Jessie Bates To Sign With Falcons

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Jessie Bates to sign with Atlanta Falcons

Former Bengal Jessie Bates To Sign With Falcons

News, NFL

The Atlanta Falcons continued to utilize their cap space on Monday reportedly agreeing to a four-year, $64.02 million deal with safety Jessie Bates.

Bates will get $23 million in year one and $36 million over the first two years of the deal. He becomes the fourth highest-paid safety in NFL history. Bates was a five-year starter in Cincinnati after being drafted in the second round in 2018. He had 71 tackles and a career-high four interceptions for the Bengals this past season. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2020.

Bates brings some much-needed help to the Falcons defense which ranked 23rd in points per game allowed. Atlanta also ranked 25th in the league in pass yards allowed per game in 2022. AJ Terrell continued to play at a high level, but the rest of the Falcons secondary struggled so Bates is an immediate upgrade.

Falcons General Manager Terry Fontenot spent the first two years of his tenure untangling the salary cap mess left behind by his predecessor Thomas Dimitroff. The Falcons ate over $77 million in dead money in the 2022 season in order to clear up their cap situation. They entered the offseason with the second most cap space behind the Bears.

Atlanta raised some eyebrows by publicly declaring through the media they were not going to pursue Lamar Jackson. Instead, Fontenot opted to build depth on the roster. On the first day of free agency, the Falcons made several moves.

They first traded for Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith. Atlanta then agreed to terms with Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata. The Falcons also re-signed guard Chris Lindstrom, fullback Keith Smith and punter Bradley Pinion. 

The Falcons still have a couple of holes on the roster they will likely prioritize with their remaining cap space. Atlanta is still in the market to upgrade at the cornerback position opposite Terrell. The Falcons are also trying to re-sign right tackle Kaleb McGary after opting to use the franchise tag on him last week. Atlanta is optimistic they can get a deal done. If not, Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski is someone they could target with the eighth pick of the draft.

Author: Dan Weiner

Hailing from Atlanta and attending college at the University of Texas, Dan is passionate about sports, particularly college football and soccer. He's a diehard Atlanta pro sports and Texas Longhorns fan. He likes every sport and will watch anything and everything the weirder the better. He joined Betsperts after an 11 year career in television production at ESPN.