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Report: 'Outside Chance' Saints Match Bell Offer

While the Eagles opted not to match the Titans' offer for defensive end Jason Babin, The Times-Picayune says there's an "outside chance" New Orleans could choose to match Philadelphia's offer to restricted free agent running back Mike Bell, a reported one-year, $1.7 million deal with $500,000 guaranteed.

Mike Triplett of *The Times-Picayune* reported that an interesting addendum to Philadelphia's offer to Bell is that it includes a no-trade clause through August.

Triplett writes: "That's not really a big deal, but it would prevent the New Orleans Saints from deciding to match Bell's offer, then try to turn around and trade him to Philadelphia or another interested team."

New Orleans explored other options for its backfield earlier in the week, hosting free agent veteran Justin Fargas for a visit. However, Fargas, who also visited Philadelphia, has not received a contract offer yet from the Saints.

In answering a fan question in a mailbag article, Triplett wrote: "There's still an outside chance they could choose to match Philadelphia's offer of one-year, $1.7 million with $500,000 guaranteed. But at this point it sure looks like the Saints are willing to move on without Bell."

The Saints have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to match the Eagles' offer. If not, then Bell joins a young Eagles' backfield that includes second-year man LeSean McCoy and Pro Bowl fullback Leonard Weaver.

The clock is ticking ...

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 8:34 a.m., March 20

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