The Vikings originally signed Bates
to an offer sheet on March 27 but Chicago matched it last Wednesday. The Bears waived him the following day.
The Vikings will assume the same 3-year contract they signed Bates to last week as a restricted free agent. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bates, 6-2, 215, was selected by the Bears in the third round (71st overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Northwestern University. He set Northwestern's career records in receptions (210), yards (3,370), and touchdowns (26). Bates ended his college career second in Big Ten history in both catches and yards. He was an All-Big 10 first-team selection his senior year when he led the conference with 83 catches for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns. Bates missed his junior season with a leg injury, but was an All-Big 10 first-team selection his sophomore season when he caught 75 passes for 1,196 yards.