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Detroit Lions ‘Bold signing’ of Jessie Bates would improve secondary

The Detroit Lions have been struggling with their defense for a while now, and they will certainly be looking for ways to improve it in the upcoming NFL Draft or through free agency. According to Football Outsiders, signing S Jessie Bates from the Cincinnati Bengals could be a bold move that would instantly upgrade the Lions’ secondary. Bates is a 26-year-old safety who has playoff experience and has never received All-Pro recognition but has the potential to be an impact player for the Lions. The Bengals are unlikely to franchise-tag Bates for a second consecutive year, and multiple reports suggest he may be parting ways with the team. When he hits the market, Bates will be looking for a team that’s ready to contend, and the Lions can provide that.

Detroit Lions backup quarterback Jessie Bates

Key points

  • The Lions are looking to upgrade their defense in the upcoming NFL Draft or through free agency.
  • Football Outsiders suggest signing Jessie Bates from the Bengals could be a bold move that would instantly upgrade the Lions’ secondary.
  • Bates is a 26-year-old safety with playoff experience and the potential to be an impact player for the Lions.
  • The Bengals are unlikely to franchise-tag Bates for a second consecutive year, and multiple reports suggest he may be parting ways with the team.
  • Bates will be looking for a team that’s ready to contend when he hits the market, and the Lions fit the bill.
  • The Lions can easily create more cap space with a few restructured contracts and veteran trimmings.

The Big Picture: Lions’ defense needs improvement  

The Lions’ defense ranked 29th in DVOA against deep passes in 2022, highlighting the need for improvement. Bates is a versatile player who can help the Lions in both coverage and run defense. His presence in the secondary could also provide an opportunity for the Lions’ pass rushers to get to the quarterback more frequently.

From Football Outsiders:

The Lions had only $13 million in cap space as of late February but could easily create more with a few restructured contracts and veteran trimmings. They can do what they please in free agency, and Bates is the jewel of this year’s class: a 26-year-old, playoff-tested, high-impact safety who has never received All-Pro recognition but should have once or twice.

The Bengals are unlikely to franchise-tag Bates for a second consecutive year. A long-term deal is possible but tricky: the Bengals are saving their nickels and dimes for Joe Burrow’s extension.

Once Bates hits the market, he’ll be looking for big bucks and a team that’s ready to contend. The Lions can provide both! And Bates will immediately upgrade a defense that ranked 29th in DVOA against deep passes in 2022.

Jessie Bates By the Numbers

  • Bates played all 79 games since coming to the Bengals
  • He had four interceptions and eight passes defended in 2022.
  • He had one interception and four passes defended in 2021.

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W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

Detroit Lions Highest-Graded Rookie Since 2006 Is Not Who You Think It Is

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