Did the Chicago Bears overpay for Ryan Bates?

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The Chicago Bears traded for Ryan Bates right before the start of free agency. The team sent away a fifth-round pick, so they do not have a pick after 123 in the draft, and they only have five picks overall. The Bears also will tie up over $5M in cap space to Bates over the next two years

 It could make some fans wonder if this was worth it. If the Chicago Bears think they have their player, yes. 

First, fans have been asking for offensive line help for years. Bates may not start, but we have watched enough Bears football to know that he will play. Teven Jenkins has been in the NFL for three seasons. He started two games and then 11 games in two straight years. If starting 11 games is an accomplishment, the team needs to find someone competent enough to start the other six. 

More than that, Nate Davis played a full season in 2020, then played 14 games, 12 games, and 11 games. He has played less and less each of the last three years and has missed at least three games in each. Paying up for an experienced veteran is not wild. 

The Bears paid $5.3M for Lucas Patrick last season, and Whitehair was on the cap for $14M. Davis and Jenkins are making slightly more, but both were on the roster last year when the Bears committed that much to two players. So, the salary is no issue. 

The question is whether or not they could have signed a guard with the same, or better qualified to a two-year, $11M deal in free agency to fill this role and then save the fifth-round pick. 

Did the Chicago Bears need to trade for Ryan Bates?

First off, coming out of the NFL combine, they must have learned this is not the deepest draft, and also that they can get a fifth-round pick back quickly via a trade back. So, if they trust Bates over a free agent like Max Garvia, Jon Feliciano, Aaron Stinnie, Matt Feiler, Sua Opeta, Max Scharping, or any other guard in that tier, it is certainly not an overpay. 

Some fans will wonder why the team had to have this player when they could draft a player and sign a player for the same price, giving them even more depth.

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