The Baltimore Ravens could look to bolster their secondary in the offseason either via free agency or the 2022 NFL Draft. And one player who would certainly do the trick is Cincinnati Bengals star safety, Jessie Bates.
The Ravens will have a decision to make on safety DeShon Elliott who is a pending free agent this offseason. If the Ravens don’t bring Elliott back, Bates is someone who could be on their radar.
Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network recently listed the Ravens as a realistic landing spot for Bates this offseason, provided he doesn’t stick with the Bengals.
It certainly would be nice to steal one of the top players at their position away from a division rival, but just how likely is it?
Is a Jessie Bates signing realistic for the Ravens?
For starters, for the Ravens, or any team for that matter, to have a chance at signing Bates, he’ll have to hit the open market. I’m very skeptical that actually happens.
While Bates and the Bengals couldn’t come to terms on a long-term extension last offseason, there’s no reason Cincinnati should just let him walk.
The Bengals are projected to have over $50 million in cap space this offseason meaning that they have plenty of money to keep Bates in town. Whether that’s an extension to the franchise tag, it’s hard to see Bates leaving.
That said, what if he does shake free? What if the Bengals opt to allocate their resources elsewhere and let Bates walk? Do the Ravens make sense as a landing spot?
From a stylistic standpoint, Bates would be a great fit for the Ravens. His skill set perfectly complements Chuck Clark’s and it’s not as if Bates lacks experience playing in the AFC North.
However, there’s more at play here than just play style. Bates will likely be asking for quite a bit of money on the open market, and the Ravens have other needs to address and other players to re-sign, not to mention Lamar Jackson’s upcoming extension.
It’s hard to imagine them paying Bates what he would be asking for.
The Ravens would love to add a player like Jessie Bates to their roster this offseason, but for multiple reasons, it’s difficult to see that actually happening.