Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Nola.com, the Eagles have offered running back Mike Bell an offer sheet that he's likely to sign by tomorrow. I'm going to go ahead and spare you the suspense: with Brian Westbrook gone my guess is that it'll be for a decent chunk of change and the Saints will decline to match it. Seven days from now I see Mike Bell as officially becoming an Eagle. Sadly, the Saints tendered Bell at the lowest possible figure so they'll get no compensation for losing him, but they will have seven days to match the offer sheet if they want to keep Bell. I don't see that happening because the Saints' have a massive payroll and a lot of really good young players that they want to lock up. Bell lost a lot of playing time late in the season to Lynell Hamilton, too, so my guess is they'll live with losing him because they trust Hamilton can handle his workload. Perhaps the Saints will also trust Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush more next year in a two back system. Also, consider that of the four backs the Saints relied on last year, three were undrafted (Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, and Lynell Hamilton). I think the Saints believe they can get a quality running back replacement through the draft or even afterwards without breaking the bank, so I think Mike Bell is a goner. I'm sad because I love the intensity and passion that Bell plays with. He's only been a Saint for a short time but he was a big part of our early season success, and he's an important piece. I hope I'm wrong, but I just think the writing is on the wall. If he does leave, I wish him nothing but the absolute best in Philly.