Restricted free agent Mike Bell is visiting the Eagles on Tuesday afternoon and evening, and will be made available to the media on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the team announced. Bell ran for 654 yards on 172 carries for New Orleans last season (3.8-yard-per-carry average) and he scored 5 touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions.
Bell got off to a great start in 2009, rushing for 143 yards on 28 carries in the Saints' opener against Detroit. In Week 2, at Lincoln Financial Field, Bell carried 17 times and gained 86 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles defense. He suffered a sprained knee in that game and was never the same again the rest of the season. Still, Bell served notice that he was a productive back with good size and power between the tackles.
Bell originally joined the Denver Broncos as a non-drafted rookie from Arizona. He ran for 677 yards in 2006 and then was used sparingly in 2007 in Denver before signing with New Orleans in 2008.
The Eagles, who entertained Justin Fargas as an unrestricted free agent, are looking for a complement to LeSean McCoy in the backfield. Could Bell be that player? The Eagles would need to sign him to an offer sheet and then hope New Orleans declines to match the contract in the seven days the Saints are permitted to do so. If the Saints match, Bell remains in New Orleans. If the Saints don't match, the Eagles add Bell to the roster without any compensation going to New Orleans.
-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, March 16, 2:08 p.m.