Mike Bell has reportedly signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to his agent Josh Luchs. The contract, worth $1.7 million, of which $500,000 is guaranteed, is for one year.
Because Bell is a restricted free agent, the Saints have seven days to match or beat the offer from Philadelphia.
The Saints made an initial offer of one year, $1.176 million, with no guaranteed money. If the Saints lose Bell to the Eagles, the Saints will get no draft pick compensation.
This is a tough call. Bell was a large part of the Saints running attack this past season, nearly leading the league in rushing through the first four weeks in Pierre Thomas’ absence. Bell consistently wore down teams with his running in the second half of games and was often a catalyst on offense when the Saints offense needed a spark. Although rookie Lynell Hamilton is a bigger back, and proved he could handle short yardage situations last year, I hope the Saints do the right thing and bring back the hard nosed veteran runner.