On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Bengals had announced they had reached an agreement with the now-former New Orleans Saints safety Vonn Bell.
Vonn Bell’s deal with the Bengals is for a reported $16 million over three years. The 25-year-old is coming off an electric season that saw his New Orleans Saints leading the league in run defense.
The former Buckeye started all 13 games he appeared in, racking up 63 solo tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, and an interception.
Many expected Bell to be a priority heading into this offseason. His departure leaves some question marks, but many are busy celebrating the addition of Malcolm Jenkins to take a second look at the hole Bell leaves behind him.
Jenkins has already won a title with New Orleans before, but that was over a decade ago.
At 32 years old, it’s fair to question Jenkins’ ability to the playmaker he once was.
Essentially, the team traded Bell for Jenkins; they signed Jenkins before they ever heard back from Bell. Sean Payton has been vocal regarding his love for Jenkins, and his desire to have him back. But, was Bell a worthy sacrifice?
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With Jenkins, the Saints are getting a coverage safety, something they arguably have in Marcus Williams.
Bell’s specialty was his ability to be able to stack the box and provide brick-wall run support. His presence helped elevate the Saint’s defense into one of the top run defenses in the league last season.
Without Bell, the Saints still have a more than capable defensive line, debatably the best in all of football. But throw Todd Gurley in the mix, and Cam Jordan will need all the help he can get.
It could be, however, that the Saints have a few more moves up their sleeves. As Who Dat Dish’s Terry Kimble points out, the team may be in the market for a linebacker, and a big name has recently become available.
Could the team reach into the market to bring in a linebacker to add depth, then use their draft pick on…hm, maybe, Xavier McKinney of Alabama? Grant Delpit of LSU? Anyone to add that final piece into the secondary.
Bell was, and forever will be, a fan favorite among Saints fans.
Some may be disappointed to see him go, but don’t think Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton don’t have a plan.