What Minkah Fitzpatrick’s Steelers extension means for Bengals, Jessie Bates

A day removed from finding out Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow would be on a timely trip to Las Vegas with Jessie Bates, the Pittsburgh Steelers just potentially made things harder on the team.

Those Steelers agreed to a market-resetting extension with safety Minkah Fitzpatrick worth $84.22 million over five years with $36 million guaranteed.

We’ll still need to see official annual breakdowns, as an extension means the cap hit could be reduced in interesting ways, but it’s pretty clear this is a proverbial wrench in the plans for the Bengals with Bates.

While we don’t know what Bates and his reps have been asking for specifically, the impasse between the two parties has been going on for an extended period of time.

Maybe the most important number here is the guaranteed value. Marcus Williams got $37 million, so there’s little reason for Bates to settle for less now.

Not helping matters for the Bengals is that these numbers for Fitzpatrick are, at least in part, a byproduct of Minkah making two All-Pro bids. Bates, meanwhile, struggled and admitted to struggling last season before elite play in the playoffs during the Super Bowl run.

So while Bates and his reps might point to the market moving, the Bengals can point elsewhere as a reason to stay low and not cough up a structure that puts Bates in this top-of-market bracket.

To this point, the standoff between Bates and the Bengals wasn’t too concerning, as Bates and his reps were just using their last available leverage. This arguable overpay by a rebuilding Steelers team does shine a light on the fact the Bengals probably should have wrapped up a Bates extension much earlier, though.


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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire