+ BELL'S DECISION TO RETIRE. For 28 days on my 2012 Hooters calendar hanging in the garage, offensive guard Jacob Bell was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Though the team's overall plans for him were unclear and very much in development, as all such things in early May, he was largely projected as a backup guard competing against Clint Boling and Otis Hudson (at least for now) for remaining spots on the team's 2012 roster. And on the 28th day Yahoo! Sports Jason Cole writes that Bell retired, which Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer quickly confirmed.
The decision wasn't so much based on injury, rather the projection of weighing consequences by extending one's NFL career:
"In the NFL we’re modern-day gladiators and we sell our soul to the game of football for a price, but what is that price? Everyone has a price and for me I wanted to make sure that I don’t have any regrets about my future in regards to what I’ve done in the NFL. At this point I can walk away with no regrets and left on my own terms where the NFL didn’t force me out and I made that decision on my own. There were a lot of factors and discussions with my family and myself and I think it was the right decision to be made."
It's not entirely surprising. Much of what we've heard since Junior Seau's death surrounds the consequences of an NFL career, compounded by the increased awareness regarding concussions.
This is Bell's decision. It's his life. A post-career life that he can comfortably walk away from while not harming the Cincinnati Bengals. It's not like Kyle Cook or Andrew Whitworth snapped his fingers, did a flat-handed horizontal wave saying that's it. He was projected as a backup and after eight years in the NFL, he finally said, "I'm done."
+ BENGALS CURRENT ROSTER. The Cincinnati Bengals claimed offensive guard Chris Riley and defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga off waivers on Wednesday. Including Bell's retirement, all ten of Cincinnati's 2012 draft picks and their collection of drafted free agents, the Bengals roster currently sits at 88 players, two shy of the 90-man offseason roster limit. Eventually the Bengals will cut 37 players before the start of the regular season.
+ CARLOS DUNLAP'S LOFTY GOALS. Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap wants to record double-digit sacks, become one of the top sack artists in the NFL and the team's emerging player (with a healthy competition to remove Geno Atkins from that throne) and start for the 2012 Cincinnati Bengals.
+ JUSTIN HILTON SITS DOWN WITH CINCY JUNGLE. One of the Bengals newest receivers, undrafted free agent Justin Hilton out of Indiana State, takes a moment to introduce himself to Bengals fans.
+ JORDAN SHIPLEY TWEETS HE'S READY. Bengals wide receiver Jordan Shipley was cleared by doctors to resume full activity for the Bengals.