Vikings Claim Bates Off Waivers
Apr. 09, 2002
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) _ The Minnesota Vikings claimed wide receiver D'Wayne Bates _ this time for good _ off waivers from the Chicago Bears on Tuesday.
Bates, who has a three-year, $2.85 million contract, was signed as the No. 3 wide receiver and will have the chance to compete for the No. 2 slot, starting opposite Randy Moss, head coach Mike Tice said.
``He's a big, tall wide receiver who has the ability to get better,'' Tice said. ``We're excited to have him.''
The Vikings, who are scrambling to find possible replacements for Cris Carter in anticipation of his expected departure, had signed Bates to an offer sheet last month. The Bears matched the offer last Wednesday and said they would hold onto him _ a deal that would have cost the team $1.1 million against the salary cap this year.
But one day later, Chicago waived him after attempts to restructure his contract failed. The main sticking point was the first year of Bates' contract.
``(The Bears) played it the way they played it and we waited patiently and claimed him,'' Tice said.
A standout at Northwestern, Bates was a third-round pick by the Bears in 1999. He played sparingly his first three seasons, catching just 15 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown. He had a career-high nine receptions for 160 yards and a score last year.