Miami Dolphins Release Defensive Stud Yeremiah Bell; Worth Pursuing for the Philadelphia Eagles?

By Bryn Swartz

In a rather surprising move, the Miami Dolphins have released veteran safety Yeremiah Bell, saving $4.3 million in cap space.

Bell, 34, was a team leader on defense and was credited with keeping the team together, even after they started the season 0-7. They went on to win six of their final ten games.

For the season, Bell collected 107 tackles, the most on the team, plus two sacks and an interception.

He’s topped 100 tackles in each of the past four seasons, with a high of 120 in 2008. He was a Pro Bowler after the 2009 season.

Although he’s 34 years old, he doesn’t have quite the wear and tear of a typical 34-year old safety.

He wasn’t drafted until he was 25 years old (pretty interesting story: took two years after high school to work at a steel mill, walked onto a Division I-AA college, and became an All-American), and he didn’t become a full-time starter until he was 30.

So he’s really only had four years of being a full-time starter under his belt (or five seasons, if you count the 11 games he started in 2006). He’s very durable, and has played in all 64 games over the past four years after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in 2007 that ended his season.

Would he be a good fit for the Eagles?

I say absolutely yes.

Bell would be a major upgrade over Kurt Coleman or Jaiquawn Jarrett, and those are your current options at strong safety in the 2012 season.

You think 34 is old? Sure. That’s not young. But I wouldn’t have a problem with the Eagles bringing in soon-to-be 37-year old London Fletcher, and until his recent neck injuries that will likely end his career, I would have supported bringing back Brian Dawkins, and he’s been around since 1996.

I’m still not sure what the Eagles are planning to do at safety. They missed out on their chance to get LaRon Landry, and I’m not sure if they want to spend a high draft pick on a safety for the third consecutive season.

Maybe it’s Bell. Maybe it’s somebody else. But if I had it my way, Yeremiah Bell would be a starting safety for the Eagles next season.

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