CINCINNATI – There’s a lot of division among Bengals fans when it comes to whether or not the team should give Jessie Bates III a new contract.

Joe Burrow believes Bates deserves a new deal. So do a lot of his other teammates.

And apparently, so does ESPN‘s Field Yates.

Yates recently wrote a column suggesting the one thing each team needs to do before training camp and his suggestion for the Bengals was they give Bates a new contract:

“No Bengals defender leveled up his play during the run to the Super Bowl last season more than Bates, the homegrown safety who was franchise-tagged this offseason. Bates checks pretty much all the boxes you look for in a foundational player at just 25 years old — elite play on the field and a grand total of two games missed in just four seasons. Factoring in all of those considerations, Bates likely desires a deal at the top of the safety market, a price tag that could be around $16 million per year. I’d contend that he is worth it.”

The Bengals have to ditch their archaic contract philosophy

The main reason why a deal hasn’t happened is because the Bengals are very strict when it comes to associating guaranteed money with new contracts. Or extensions, or whatever verbiage you want to use.

The Bengals don’t give out guaranteed money past the first year of the deal, which is simply not how the majority of teams do business, these days. In fact, the NFL is moving more and more toward fully-guaranteed contracts or deals like the one Aaron Rodgers recently signed.

If the Bengals were willing to give out guaranteed money beyond Year 1, it would not only go a long way toward keeping Bates, it will also help them when it comes to extending Tee Higgins, Joe Burrow, and Ja’Marr Chase down the line.

Plus, this is football. The average career last three years. These guys deserve to get paid as much as fittingly possible as soon as possible.

Sure, the Bengals were able to beef up their offensive line without breaking their philosophy, but they’re going to have to change it, eventually. Or else the Super Bowl runs will likely be short and sweet.

You can check out Yates’ full column, here.

Featured image via Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK