Bengals Rumors: Vonn Bell connected to the Packers in free agency
The Cincinnati Bengals hope to keep Vonn Bell in free agency and most fans feel like he'll end up sticking around. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily the consensus outside of Cincinnati.
Arjun Menon and Brad Spielberger of PFF put together a list of landing spots for the top 50 free agents and did not have Bell returning to Cincinnati. Instead, they pegged the Green Bay Packers as the best destination for Bell. That would not be ideal for the Bengals, who would then be losing both of their starting safeties.
" Bell has logged more than 1,000 snaps in each of the past three seasons while earning run-defense and coverage grades above 60.0 in each. Bell’s 33 defensive stops in coverage over the past three seasons are seventh most among safeties, and his 51 defensive stops and 18 tackles for loss as a run defender over the past three seasons both rank fourth. He’s an incredibly solid all-around player who would be a nice addition for any team this offseason. "- Menon and Spielberger
To be honest, I didn't really see a scenario in which Bell leaves the Bengals but I guess we have to consider it as a possibility. He's still a talented safety and this might be his last opportunity to earn a nice contract. He's 28 years old as of this writing and his projected three-year contract would put him in the free-agent cycle again at 31 years old. Spotrac has him earning $21.1 million with an annual salary of $9.7 million.
It feels like a near-certainty that the Bengals will lose Jessie Bates in the offseason so losing Bell would be a massive blow to their secondary. That'd put them in a situation where they'd have Dax Hill but would need another veteran to pair with him. This same article ties the Bengals to C.J. Gardner-Johnson, which would be a nice signing for them.
Nobody wants to see Bell leave but it definitely could happen. Hopefully, he sticks around and the Bengals can roll with him and Hill as their main safeties moving forward.