Running back Mike Bell was quickly becoming a household name as a member of the New Orleans Saints. He joined the team in the preseason prio to their Superbowl run in 2009.
It was during the preseason that Bell earned his roster spot, rushing for 100 yards on ten carries during the second contest against the Houston Texans. New Orleans had seen enough to award him a final roster spot behind Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush.
But behind is not where he stayed as injuries forced him into a prominent role week one of the regular season. He responded by posting 143 yards rushing against the Detroit Lions, the next week rushing for 86 yards and one touchdown against the Eagles.
Suddenly everyone in New Orleans knew who Mike Bell was and what kind of impact he could make inside the Saints offense.
As strong as Bell’s start to the season had been nagging knee problems resulted in a reduced role and less production as the season progressed. Bell rushed for 654 yards on 172 carries with five touchdowns to finish the year.
He became a restricted free agent, and the Saints did tender him the lowest offer, but he decided to sign an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The deal was a one year contract worth roughly 1.7M, a cool 500k more than what the Saints had tendered him. They declined to match Philadelphia to keep him around.
Bell moved on to the Eagles for a short stay — five games — before being traded to the Cleveland Browns. In 2010 Bell totaled 99 yards on 47 carries, fumbling twice.