Bills to retain OL Ryan Bates by matching Bears’ offer sheet

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills will retain Ryan Bates by matching the four-year qualifying offer the offensive lineman signed with the Chicago Bears, general manager Brandon Beane said on Monday.

Beane made the announcement while attending the NFL’s owners meetings in Florida, four days after Bates signed the Bears’ offer sheet. The Bills had five days to match the offer or lose Bates without compensation.

The third-year player was a restricted free agent, whose rights the Bills retained by tendering him a one-year, $2.433 million contract two weeks ago.

He’s a third-year player who went undrafted out of Penn State and was acquired by Buffalo in a trade that sent defensive end Eli Harold to the Philadelphia Eagles in August 2019. Noted for his versatility for being able to play each 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 guard in Buffalo last season, spent the past four seasons with the Bills and was an unrestricted free agent after completing the final year of his contract.

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