Bates is undoubtedly a very good player who would serve as a significant upgrade for the Jets, but it's hard to imagine general manager Joe Douglas parting ways with assets for a player at a non-premium position demanding a big payday.
If Douglas wasn't willing to pay Marcus Williams $14 million per year in free agency, why would he want to trade assets away for an arguably worse safety asking for the same (if not more) money?
The short answer is that he wouldn't. The following are purely hypothetical scenarios. Perhaps Douglas has a change of heart and sees the need for a major upgrade at free safety. Perhaps Bates lowers his asking price but still wants out of Cincinnati.
Neither is a likely scenario, but the NFL is an ever-changing landscape where unpredictable things happen all the time. In short, you never know what could happen.
The Jets absolutely could use a player like Bates in their secondary. While the additions of Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Jordan Whitehead should help improve a defensive backfield that struggled mightily in 2021, the Jets are still looking for a true center-field free safety.
Bates would provide them with just that. But what might it cost to land Bates in a trade? We took a look at three hypothetical trade packages for the Bengals' star safety.