Wednesday Mar 15, 2023
Safeties Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell Leave Void In Bengals Secondary
Each year an NFL roster will see changes. Some are good, some not so good. This week, the Cincinnati Bengals saw two significant hits to their secondary when the Killer B's, Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, left in free agency for more significant contracts.
Bates is headed to the Atlanta Falcons on a four-year deal at $64.02 million, including $23 million in the first year and $36 million over the first two years. The deal makes Bates the fourth highest-paid safety in NFL history for the time being.
The Bengals originally drafted Bates out of Wake Forest in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. During his career, Bates would start 79 regular-season games. Last season the Bengals placed the franchise tag on Bates.
Bell will head to the Carolina Panthers on a three-year, $22.5 million contract with a $5.835 million signing bonus and $13 million guaranteed.
Bell was initially drafted out of Ohio State in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. The Bengals signed Bell in March 2020 to a three-year, $18 million contract. Bell started 41 games for the Bengals during the past three seasons.
Jump In The Trenches with Dave Lapham, presented by First Star Logistics as Lap looks at the departures of both players and the direction the Bengals may head to replace Bates and Bell on the field.