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#pounditMonday, April 22, 2024

Bears agree to trade with Bills

Bears helmet on the field

Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; A Chicago Bears helmet on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears have made a trade — but it doesn’t involve anyone named Justin Fields just yet.

The Bears on Monday agreed to a trade for Bills offensive lineman Ryan Bates in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick. Both teams announced the deal on X.

The trade will officially be consummated pending a physical on March 13, which will mark the official start of the 2024 season. NFL free agency and trading season will also begin on that day at 4 p.m.

Chicago previously tried to sign Bates following the 2021 season. Bears GM Ryan Poles had signed Bates, then a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet that the Bills eventually matched.

The Penn State alum has been a key reserve for the Bills’ O-line. Bates played in all 17 games for the Bills last season but didn’t start any of them. In 73 games played for the Bills, the 27-year-old started in just 19 total contests.

Poles, who appears likely to draft a QB with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, is expected to remain active on the trade market. But the Bears are reportedly having trouble finding an adequate return for Fields ahead of the looming free agency period.

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