Less than a week after being waived by the Chicago Bears, Bates on Tuesday was claimed off waivers by the Vikings.
A restricted free agent, Bates originally signed a three-year, $2.85 offer sheet with the Vikings before the Bears matched that deal last Wednesday. But a day after matching the offer, the Bears waived Bates.
Had Chicago failed to match Minnesota's offer, it would not have received the third-round pick as compensation because team officials did not check the proper box on a form sent to the league.
A three-year veteran, Bates moved into the Bears' lineup for the final 11 games last year after Marcus Robinson suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Northwestern product had eight receptions for 157 yards and his first NFL touchdown over the final two games after catching just one pass all season.
Since he was selected in the third round of the 1999 draft, Bates has 15 catches for 221 yards and a TD. He set school records at Northwestern with 210 catches, 3,370 yards and 26 touchdowns and led the Big Ten Conference in all three categories as a senior.