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Bengals losing Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell would be ‘dark day’

The Cincinnati Bengals could lose both starting safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates to free agency this summer.

Both veterans look poised to take trips to the open market, which is a disaster scenario for a defense trying to keep level in the face of the multiple potential losses.

Just ask defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. At the scouting combine, he said all of the locker room leadership and on-field communications Bell and Bates handle are critical to success.

“They do a lot of things people don’t see,” Anarumo said, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. “I’d rather not think about that dark day.”

Bates has always seemed as good as gone, barring an unexpectedly soft market. But even that’s unlikely, not with a team like the Falcons boasting cap space, need and Bates has been seen with Falcons players recently.

Bell is likelier to be back and at 28, is the type of glue guy who has been here since the beginning. It makes more sense schematically, too, on the field, as he can start next to first-rounder Dax Hill while helping the sophomore along.

Then again, Bell and his reps know that, which could make talks interesting. But Anarumo has made it clear where he stands on this topic.

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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire