Last offseason, no restricted free agents moved teams. But this year, with more players restricted by the league’s move to an uncapped year, the restricted free agent market was expected to be more active. However, only one player actually moved via restricted free agency. For posterity’s sake, we’re describing that move – Mike Bell moving from New Orleans to Philly.
Note: trades of restricted free agents such as Brandn Marshall to the Eagles, Darryl Tapp to the Eagles, Charlie Whitehurst to the Seahawks, and Rob Sims to the Lions were not included in this post because we analyzed them in our trades post.
Eagles sign Saints RFA RB Mike Bell – one-year, $1.7 million (Bell was not drafted, so original-round tender means Saints get no compensation) – Bell had a breakout rookie season in Denver but then lost his gig there before finding a renaissance in New Orleans. He isn’t a dynamic back, but he’s an effective phyiscal runner who was great last season at grinding out the clock. Now he gets a one-year, $1.7 million offer to move to the Eagles . If the Saints don’t match Bell’s offer, he’ll keep the pressure off LeSean McCoy and allow the Eagles to limit McCoy’s carries. Bell does duplicate what FB Leonard Weaver can provide, but nowadays teams can’t have enough backs, and so Bell becomes an uncapped year luxury as a backup making more than using. New Orleans will not get any compensation if Bell leaves, so the Saints must decide whether the cash outlay is too rich or if they can swallow signing that check for a solid but unspectacular back who falls behind Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush in the pecking order.