By now we've all heard the news that Mike Bell has gotten an offer from the Philadelphia Eagles, a one-year deal worth $1.7 million. Mad props to Grumps for his coverage of all the action yesterday. But since there's absolutely nothing else to discuss, we may as well talk about it a little more.
When Bell made his first free agent visit to Seattle over a week ago, I asked all of you whether you thought the Saints would let Mike Bell sign with another team. Eighty-one percent of you thought they would and I agree with the majority. I wouldn't be surprised if Bell wasn't in a Saints uniform next season. In fact, I'm probably more surprised that he's garnered so much interest in the free agent market, but not having any draft pick compensation attached to you will do that. Now that Bell has signed an offer sheet with the Eagles, the Saints have one week to match the offer or let Bell walk. We're going to find out who was right and who was wrong.
It would seem pretty obvious that if the Saints really cared about Mike Bell remaining a Saint, they wouldn't have made such a low tender and at such a late date. But as the Times-Pic speculates, maybe the team really does want Bell and were just being a little cute with the numbers...
It's also possible that the Saints were gambling that they could keep him for less money, but that they'll be willing to up the ante now that they're hand is being forced.
Perhaps. It would be a smart move. I still doubt it, however, and don't expect the team to match.
Just for old times sake, I'm gonna throw up another poll asking if you think the Saints will let Mike Bell walk, the same question asked eleven days ago. It will be interesting to see if results remain the same or if opinion has changed now that the hour is actually upon us and more details have been revealed.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!