What Chicago Bears trading for Ryan Bates means for the rest of the offseason plan

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The Chicago Bears traded a fifth-round pick for Ryan Bates. Because the timing is right when fans are most excited about player movement, and the Bears are at the center of attention in the NFL, the move got a little more press than a typical move would. 

Trading a pick and taking on some money shows interest, but the Bears likely view Bates as a backup. Bates is signed for just over $5M in cap space, which is what Lucas Patrick was making to be the backup guard/center for the team last year. 

So, the question is how this impacts the team's offseason plans? They will typically have eight or nine linemen on their 53-man roster when all is said and done. 

Right now, the starters are Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins, Nate Davis, and Darnell Wright. While Ryan Bates would technically slot into center, that is like Patrcik being in there. It would only be because Cody Whtiehair or one of the guards is out. Whitehair made $14M last year, and the Bears saved $9M by moving on from Whitehair. Needless to say, they are not spending more on the room this year, even taking on the Bates salary as a backup.

Bates can back up at both center and guard. Larry Borom has shown to be a backup at left tackle and right tackle, although it would be smart to bring in some competition for him. Lastly, if Bates is at the center, Carter would be the backup guard, and that makes him valuable as an eighth lineman. 

The Chicago Bears offseason plan at offensive line is coming to life

So, as the Chicago Bears stand, they have seven players signed, and most of them have a great chance at making the 53-man roster. It means that there will only be one or two significant additions to this room left.

The Bears are absolutely going to add a center, whether it be in the draft or free agency. Then, they will add a tackle of some sort. They will either sign a veteran backup or draft a backup on day three to compete with Borom. In the rare case that they take a tackle in the top ten, Jones moves into the Borom role, and Borom is the ninth offensive lineman on the fringe of making the roster. 

Expect the Chicago Bears to add a big-name center, a less noteworthy tackle, and then add minimal depth options to compete, or fill out the practice squad from there.

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