Cincinnati Bengals are doubling down on defense this offseason. According to NFL Network, Bengals agreed to a deal with safety Vonn Bell, who will become their sixth addition on defense so far in free agency.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Bell will ink a three-year, $18 million deal with the Bengals. He will get the majority of the money in the first two years, giving Cincinnati an easy exit in the third if things don’t work out.
Bell is coming off a productive season with New Orleans Saints, in which he had 86 tackles to go with 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception, and one touchdown. Saints, who drafted him in the second round of 2016 NFL Draft, were keen on keeping him, but cap difficulties stopped them from making a competitive offer. The team also saw second-year player C.J. Gardner-Johnson make an impressive showing in his rookie year, which eased their concerns over letting Bell walk.
With Bengals, Vonn Bell is expected to step in and be one of the leaders in the team’s secondary. Cincinnati struggled on defense in 2019 and gave up more yards per play than any other team in the NFL. Bell, alongside other additions like corner LeShaun Sims, should be a guarantee that this won’t happen in 2020.
Bell has 345 career tackles to go with 8.0 sacks and 14 deflections. He also added seven forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries over the course of his four years in the pros.