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Report: Ryan Bates Intends To Sign Bears’ Offer Sheet

The Bears gave OL Ryan Bates an offer that Buffalo has the option to counter.

Ryan Bates Chicago Bears Buffalo Bills
Photo: Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Poles is in on another free agent. The Chicago Bears have given an offer sheet to offensive lineman Ryan Bates. Bates’ status is a restricted free agent so the Bills have five days to match the offer.

Most importantly, the Bears don’t need to worry about giving up draft compensation. The Buffalo Bills’ initial tender to Ryan Bates was lower so draft compensation isn’t required. Opinions around the league are that the Bills will not match the Bears’ offer.

Ryan Bates Career

Ryan Bates has spent his entire playing career with the Buffalo Bills. He has appeared in 41 games from 2019 to 2021. All four of his career starts came last year.

Coming out of Penn State, Ryan Bates signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles but was packed in a trade with the Bills before he even saw the field.

What The Potential Signing Means For Chicago

Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 302 pounds, Bates will be a great option on the offensive line. After visiting the Bears last week it was pretty clear the Bears were interested. Pairing him with Cody Whitehair and newly signed Lucas Patrick would give the Bears great improvement on the interior line. The issue is, Bates still has a small sample size. Jumping from four starts to starting a whole season is huge. Other offseason moves will tell how Bates’ role with the Bears will be.

Fans can’t forget the Bills can still match the Bears’ offer. The Bills can restructure their salary to take on an additional $6 million in salary. The only way the Bears can guarantee Bates is to offer him over $6 million. That is too high. Currently, Bates is getting one year, worth $2.4 million from the Bills. With Poles not overpaying free agents for the hell of it, expect the Bears to offer in the range of $3 to $5 million. If the Bills do end up matching, Ryan Poles needs to pivot to other options so Justin Fields has the protection he needs.

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