Eagles Expected to Sign Running Back Mike Bell

Written By Bob Cunningham On Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mike Bell is expected to be an Eagle by Wednesday.

Les Bowen of Philly.com is reporting that the Eagles are expected to make a move on Saints' restricted free agent running back Mike Bell. According to Bowen, contract talks have already begun and a deal is expected to get done later Tuesday night.

"Our understanding is that contract terms have been discussed," Bowen writes. "If he checks out physically...and shows an aptitude for learning Andy Reid's offense, he'll likely be signed to an offer sheet."

The Saints would then have seven days to match the offer sheet, but considering that he was only given a "right of first refusal" tender (the lowest available), the Saints don't appear to be in a position to fight for Bell's services.

They don't seem to have a need for Bell with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush ahead of him on the depth chart. Bell is too much like Thomas to keep around for anything more than the minimum.

Bell likely won't get much of a raise, but he would surely see more playing time in Philadelphia than in New Orleans. Even with Leonard Weaver getting his fair share of carries, Bell would be the backup to LeSean McCoy right away.

It's my belief that the Eagles would like to use Weaver as more of a traditional fullback rather than just a big running back, but they can't do that unless they can get a power back behind McCoy to take some of the pressure off Weaver.

With Weaver becoming more of a lead-blocker, the running game should be much more effective than it was last season when he was playing more of an H-back role rather than that of a traditional fullback.

Bell is only 27, falling in line with the age the Eagles like to sign free agents, is the change-of-pace style of back they need, and will come relatively cheap -- sounds like everything the Eagles were looking for.

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