Ahead of Free Agency and Draft, Chicago Bears Trade for OL Ryan Bates

Before the start of free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears added help along their offensive line by trading for OL Ryan Bates.

Despite the upcoming start of free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears didn’t want to wait to add help along their offensive line. On Monday night, the Buffalo Bills officially announced that they have traded offensive lineman Ryan Bates to the Bears in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Chicago Bears Add Much-Needed Depth at OL

Although the Bears are set to have almost $80 million in cap space to work with in free agency, they clearly think highly of Bates.

The 27-year-old versatile offensive lineman will add much-needed depth to Chicago’s offensive line room as they continue to build their roster.

While Bates primarily played on special teams for the Bills last season, he started 17 games for Buffalo in 2022. During his five-year tenure with the Bills, Bates played snaps at all five positions, including starts at left guard, center and right guard. That’s exactly the type of depth and versatility that the Bears can use in the trenches.

Despite the 2024 NFL Draft being considered the strongest offensive line group in several years, Chicago clearly values Bates’ versatility and experience. Given that Bates is under contract for two more seasons, he’ll offer relatively cheap depth along the interior of their offensive line.

Buffalo Bills Add Valuable Pick in 2024 NFL Draft

Considering that the Bills rarely used Bates last season, trading him in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft is an easy decision. Now Buffalo will be able to use that pick and possibly select another offensive lineman in a stacked class.

Not only will Buffalo gain a Day 3 pick in this trade but they’ll also save $1.4 million against the salary cap, according to Spotrac. The Bills will also absorb a dead cap hit of $4 million in 2024 due to trading Bates prior to June 1.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Top 100 Free Agent Rankings

Bills general manager Brandon Beane will now be armed with 10 total draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, including eight picks on Day 3 of the event. Considering the depth of this year’s draft class, those picks will be valuable assets that will allow Buffalo to potentially maneuver up and down the draft board.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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