One of the biggest needs for the Chicago Bears this offseason is the offensive line. With question marks at tackle, center and even guard, the team needs to re-tool the line and protect quarterback Justin Fields.
While Poles has gone out and signed Lucas Patrick and Dakota Dozier, more improvement is needed and the general manger appears to be zeroing in on a new target. Buffalo Bills offensive guard Ryan Bates completed his visit with the Bears on Wednesday and it went so well that he signed an offer sheet, giving the Bills five days to match, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune:
A lot of questions remain about how the offensive line will shake out for the Chicago Bears, but the new leadership at Halas Hall is hopeful Ryan Bates becomes the answer to one of those.
The Bears on Thursday signed Bates, a restricted free agent from the Buffalo Bills, to an offer sheet. That gives the Bills five days to match the contract or lose the lineman without compensation.
Buffalo offered a low tender of $2.433 million which gives them the first rights of refusal for Bates but it DOES NOT mean they would get a draft pick if the Bears do sign him.
While Bates only has four career starts in the NFL, he’s played well in the 41 games he’s appeared on the interior for Buffalo and seems to be a good fit for a zone run scheme the Bears want to run.
The 25-year-old also took visits to both Minnesota and New England as they were interested in his services as well. But in the end, he signed the offer sheet with Chicago.
Now the waiting game begins for Poles and the Bears as they hope to land this free agent and find some solutions on the offensive line for the upcoming season.
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