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Mike Bell Could Be an Eagle by Midnight

Bob Cunningham@BCunningham215Senior Analyst IMarch 23, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Mike Bell #21 of the New Orleans Saints video tapes on the field after his team defeated the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In one of the oddest things I've seen since I began covering the Eagles over a year ago, the deadline on when the Saints must decide whether or not to match Mike Bell's offer sheet has changed.

It was originally supposed to be 11:59 pm on Monday (March 22), but it has now been moved to 11:59 pm on Tuesday (March 23). That means that at midnight (Wednesday, March 24), Bell will either officially become an Eagle, or will stay a Saint for at least one more season.

How in the world the Saints got 24 extra hours from the original deadline is beyond me, but unless they match the offer it's not really going to matter. If they do, however, a lot of people in Philly are going to be crying foul.

Many people in-the-know around Philly and New Orleans don't expect the Saints to match the offer, but the extra day might be all they need to come around and decide they'd like to keep their three-pronged rushing attack intact.

It's a modest deal for the Eagles to make Bell their second running back, but to give a third running back almost $2 million in base salary with $500,000 in guarantees will probably be too much for the Saints to swallow.

The Eagles will also be questioned for not putting in the dreaded "poison pill," which basically says that if the Saints match the offer, they'd have to guarantee every penny of the nearly $2 million if Bell were to meet some ridiculously simple milestone. For instance, if he played more than two games in the state of Florida.

Seriously, it's something that crazy.

But the Eagles decided not to include the poison pill in an unwavering confidence that it would not be needed—a decision that could backfire terribly.

Reid himself has said he doesn't believe the Saints will match the offer, but it wouldn't surprise me if they matched the offer for no other reason than to prevent an NFC foe from getting any better off of their scrap-heap.

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