If the Eagles can become effective runners, their receiving game is going to break wide open.
In the beginning of free agency, the Saints tendered Bell to the lowest dollar amount allowed of just over one million dollars, as Dr. Evil would put it—$1.176 million to be exact.
Bell is a young veteran coming into his fourth season in the NFL and has been a relatively nice complement to Reggie Bush, as well as Pierre Thomas. He is coming off off of a sprained knee injury which he never really recovered from in 2009. Can he show that his knee is capable of holding up?
I asked, in a recent poll, if the Eagles should try to make a trade for a young veteran, and if all works out they might not need to trade anything. Just get the deal done.
In 2009 Bell accumulated 654 rushing yards on 172 attempts (3.8 avg) and a mere 12 receiving yards on four receptions (3.0 avg). However, in his career Bell has an average of 7.3 yards receiving.
This tells me a couple of things right out of the gate.
First, Bell is effective at both running and catching the ball out of the backfield. The Eagles would, in my opinion, be very fortunate to get the likes of Mike Bell here in Philly.
Now here lies the ultimate question.
If the Eagles were to sign Bell to a long-term deal, does that make it open competition for the running back position in training camp? As it stands right now, LeSean McCoy is penciled in as the starter.
Both McCoy and Bell had similar rushing stats in 2009, but the receiving stats were where the noticeable difference was in McCoy's favor.
This was only the case in 2009.
As stated, Bell's career yards per reception are similar to McCoy's. McCoy had 637 rushing yards on 155 attempts (4.1 avg) and 308 yards receiving on 40 catches (7.7 avg), so you can see the two are very alike in both categories.
The Eagles would have three thumping backs on their team if they acquired Bell. They already have McCoy and Leonard Weaver. By adding Bell, I think we could officially say that the three-headed Eagle has returned to Philly. Weaver and McCoy are both receiving threats already, so they could really use any combination of the three on the field at any given time.
If I have to step out of fantasy land for a minute and be honest, I would have to say that Bell is not likely to sign in Philadelphia. This is probably for the same reason that Justin Fargas left: They would not be immediately penciled in as the starter.
I really think that is going to be the biggest factor when it comes time for Bell to ultimately make a decision as to where he wants to play in 2010.
Will he decide to come play for a winning franchise like the Eagles, or does he gamble and go to a not so accomplished team but be an immediate starter in the NFL?
My guess is the latter of the two.
I will try to keep you all posted as new information becomes available or is leaked through Twitter. Keep the faith, Philly!