PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills will keep Ryan Bates by matching the four-year qualifying offer the offensive lineman signed with the Chicago Bears, general manager Brandon Beane said Monday.
Beane made the announcement while attending NFL owners’ meetings in Florida, four days after Bates signed the Bears’ bid sheet. The Bills had five days to honor the offer or lose Bates with no compensation.
The third-year player was a restricted free agent whose rights the Bills retained by offering him a one-year, $2.433 million contract two weeks ago.
He is a third-year undrafted player from Penn State and was acquired by Buffalo in a trade that sent Eli Harold to the Philadelphia Eagles in August 2019. He is known for his versatility as he can play any position on the line. Bates appeared in 41 games, including four starts last season with the Bills.
In a separate move, the Bills re-signed offensive lineman Ike Boettger to a one-year contract. Boettger, who had 10 starts at Buffalo last season, spent the last four seasons with the Bills and was a full free agent after completing the final year of his contract.
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