Philadelphia Eagles Free Agency: Saints RB Mike Bell an Eagle in 2010

Leo PizziniAnalyst IMarch 16, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Mike Bell # 21 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates with fans after defeating the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The buzz is that Mike Bell is wrapping up an offer sheet with the Eagles. Bell is a restricted free agent, but a low tender. The Saints have a calender week to counter offer, but the Eagles would sacrifice no draft picks if they do not.

Bell is a big back at 6'0", 225 pounds and is only 26 years old.

Age and money would appear to be the Eagles' motivation for trying to sign Bell while passing on the likes of Justin Fargas, Thomas Jones, and LaDainian Tomlinson

Bell could be the short-yardage power back that Eagles fans want. It would make for a much more intimidating backfield with fullback Leonard Weaver leading for Bell.

Mike Bell has had his moments with the Broncos and the Saints over the years. But I'm still not really impressed with him. In 2009, he had way too many games where he averaged around two yards per carry. But if those two yards come on third-and-one or on the goal line, I guess it would be worthwhile.

I would much rather see the Eagles invest a third-round draft pick in a running back to complement Shady McCoy. But in not doing so, the Eagles could really aggregate talented defensive prospects by way of the draft.

This would have significant implications on the way the Eagles evaluated their running back depth. The offer sheet and/or signing does not guarantee that Bell will make the team, but the likelihood would be he's going to make it.

With that in mind, I would temper any excitement about one of the good-looking rookie prospects.

On the flip-side, if they did bust a move for a rookie as well, Bell, Martell Mallet, and Eldra Buckley would likely fight it out for the fourth running back spot. Buckley would have an opportunity to break Andy Reid's four running back standard, as he was an excellent special teams gunner in 2009.


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