The New York Jets have signed free agent safety Yeremiah Bell to a one-year deal worth $1.4 million including a $200,000 signing bonus. The Jets, who have already signed free agent safety LaRon Landry earlier this offseason, needed depth at safety, a position that was considered a weak spot by many after it struggled when Jim Leonhard went down for the second straight year with a serious injury.
Bell, 34, has been a starter for the last six seasons with the Miami Dolphins, although one season was cut short by injury after just one game. Bell was released by the Dolphins in a cap related move on March 19, 2012. With the Jets, Bell will be asked to play a backup role to Eric Smith and Landry. However, if Smith struggles or Landry gets hurt the Jets will at least have a reliable guy to plug into the starting role which should improve an already strong secondary.
Last season with the Dolphins, Bell made 107 tackles and picked up 2 sacks. He had one interception and defended 4 passes. The Jets know what they are getting with Bell and that is a very good player who can step in and start if needed. After what has happened the last couple of years at the safety position for the Jets they needed to add quality depth. Bell is certainly quality.
The Jets biggest move this offseason, other than trading for Tim Tebow, was signing LaRon Landry, a safety with a lot of talent but who has a bit of an injury history. Adding Bell, a player who is more than capable of doing an excellent job at the position, protects the Jets in case history repeats itself. The move to add Bell, who was also being courted by the Philadelphia Eagles, also weakens a division rival which I’m sure makes Rex Ryan just a little happier inside.
This was an excellent move by the Jets. Although Bell might be nearing the end of the line when it comes to the level of play he has displayed, it is only a one-year deal and Bell should pay dividends throughout the season in whatever role the Jets give him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bell gets a few starts this season. The New York Jets got stronger today.