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The Bengals face a tough test against the Browns
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NFL - US Sports: Bengals tipped to tag safety Bates

The Cincinnati Bengals are "likely" to use the franchise tag on star safety Jessie Bates before Tuesday's deadline but the Arizona Cardinals don't plan to use their tag on Pro Bowl linebacker Chandler Jones, according to reports.

Last season Bates was a major contributor as the Bengals, who are 14/1 to win Super Bowl LVII, won the AFC North title and went on to lift their first conference championship since 1988.

Bates deal in the pipeline

According to Tyler Dragon of USA Today Sports, Cincinnati are set to tag Bates now with the hope of signing him to a long-term deal later this off-season.

"The Bengals are likely going to franchise tag Jessie Bates as they continue to try to negotiate a long-term extension with the safety, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation," Dragon tweeted on Saturday.

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Since joining the Bengals in 2018, Bates has accumulated 408 combined tackles, 35 pass breakups, 10 interceptions and two forced fumbles.


Jones exit is on the Cards

Jones, however, is expected to hit the open market in free agency later this month with NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reporting on Saturday that the Cardinals will pass on his tag because of the $25m bill that it carries.

It could spell the end of the 32-year-old's productive six-year run in the desert.

The former New England Patriots linebacker has recorded 71.5 sacks since arriving in Phoenix back in 2016 - the third-most in the NFL over that period.

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