Vonn Bell isn’t the best safety that the Saints have.
When you evaluate a safety, you are looking for someone who can see and roam the entire field. They are the last string of defense for their team. On top of that, you look for the ability to intercept, tackle, and sack that are bonuses in a safety.
Vonn Bell has everything basic that you could want in a safety, but he really doesn’t go above and beyond at the position. Now, opposite him, Marcus Williams has everything Bell has, but he has all the bonuses that you could want in a safety as well.
Marcus Williams has played one season less than Vonn Bell and has nine more interceptions that Bell has. While Bell has more tackles and sacks than Williams, he has also played an entire season longer than him.
Over the long run, it might benefit more to play Marcus Williams next year a smaller contract, than it would be to pay Bell a huge contract this year. The Saints have to choose this year whether they will pay Bell this year or Williams next year.