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Monday, April 9, 2012
On Yeremiah Bell and Eagles safeties

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Bell
Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for 34-year-old free-agent safety Yeremiah Bell, said on the radio that the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the teams that had expressed interest in his client. As Sheil Kapadia points out in that link, you have to consider the source, and the fact it's in the interest of the player for the agent to be publicly talking up the number of interested teams. The Eagles might be seriously interested. They might have said something to Rosenhaus in passing, months ago, and he's referring to that. They might not be interested at all.

But I think this is the kind of idea that would make a lot more sense for the Eagles than would, say, drafting a safety in the first round. Yeah, Bell is 34 and it's hard to know how much he has left. But the Eagles picked Nate Allen in the second round two years ago. They picked Jaiquawn Jarrett in the second round last year. They have Kurt Coleman, who's shown some flashes of productivity. It's nice to have long-term depth at a position, sure, but at some point the Eagles are going to need to play their young safeties and find out what they have. If they believe Allen and Jarrett are starting-caliber NFL safeties, they need to play them and find out whether they're right. Picking another guy in the first round who plays the same position would seem to be a poor use of resources. Better to bring in a veteran who might be able to (a) help teach and groom the young guys and (b) create some training-camp competition and in-season insurance at the position without requiring a commitment beyond this season.

Again, I can't tell you whether Bell in particular would upgrade the Eagles at safety this year, or whether he's the kind of player they need at the position. What I do think is the idea of signing a veteran safety to mix in with the young players they have at the position is the way to go, and that taking someone like Mark Barron in the first round is probably not.