Saturday, July 30, 2011
Rams' Jacob Bell open to possible return
By Mike Sando
Esteemed espn_nfcwest Twitter follower Big_B_39 was on the right track early Friday afternoon when he wondered whether Harvey Dahl's signing in St. Louis would affect Jacob Bell's status with the team.
Dahl plays right guard and Bell plays left, so Dahl's arrival does not affect Bell directly. But it was fair to wonder whether the Rams would want to pay Bell's full $6 million salary this season, particularly after investing significant amounts in the rest of the line as well.
The Rams did ask Bell to accept a pay cut. Bell told me Friday the sides couldn't reach an agreement and that the team will release him as a result. Bell plans to test the market. He also said the door remains open for a return to St. Louis.
The Rams appear set at every other position on the line. Rodger Saffold (left tackle), Jason Brown (center), Dahl (right guard) and Jason Smith (right tackle) are the projected starters. Bell started all 16 games last season and 13 games in each of the previous two seasons, his first with the Rams after signing as a free agent from Tennessee.
Bell received a $7 million signing bonus as part of his deal with the Rams. The contract was scheduled to pay him $6 million in base salary for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. His contract was going to count more than $7 million against the salary cap this season.
Restricted free agent John Greco provides depth at guard for the Rams. He has four starts over the past three seasons. Adam Goldberg, an unrestricted free agent, was the starting right guard last season.