The Bears are in the mix for the Buffalo Bills offensive lineman. He started a visit with the team Tuesday, as I understand it, and that is expected to continue into Wednesday. Bates is a restricted free agent and previously visited the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots. The expectation is he will sign an offer sheet with one of those teams. If/when that happens, the Bills will have five days to match the offer or lose him without compensation. Offers Bates receives probably will be somewhat similar. He’s only got four regular-season starts (with two more in the playoffs), so it’s a projection. Unless a team wants to really pay for Bates, he’ll likely seek a short-term deal to put himself in line for a bigger pay day in another two years or so. To me, it will come down to what situation Bates likes best if the money is relatively similar. We’ll see what happens.
Chicago Bears Q&A: Why didn’t GM Ryan Poles get more for Khalil Mack? What’s the strategy in free agency?