Jessie Bates Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (30) against the Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Cincinnati Bengals star safety Jessie Bates is back and practicing with the team ahead of the 2022-23 season, that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily happy with his contract situation.

The Bengals applied the franchise tag to Bates in March, even though the safety made it known that the franchise tag was not his desired option. Following the failed contract negotiations, Bates elected not to attend the first portion of the team’s training camp.

Even after he returned to the team on Wednesday, Bates made it clear that he’s not pleased with his current contract and he doesn’t know why he and the team were unable to work out an extension.

“I don’t know,” Bates said according to Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t think that’s my question to answer. I think it’s a great opportunity to continue to present what I’m about to, who I am, to this franchise and other teams as well. So, like I said, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to prove that I’m one of the best safeties in this league. I’m not sure why I’m not paid yet.”

While Bates and the Bengals were unable to come to a deal this year, perhaps Bates will earn his extension with a strong performance this season.

[Cincinnati Enquirer]