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Liz Mullen: Bengals Sign Offensive Guard Jacob Bell

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Liz Mullen has reported via her Twitter account that the Cincinnati Bengals have signed former Rams offensive guard Jacob Bell to a one year contract today.

Free agent OG Jacob Bell formerly of the Rams, has agreed to terms on a 1 year deal with the Bengals #NFL 5 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto

This news comes as a bit of a shock because back on March 13 Josh Kirkendall reported on Cincy Jungle that Bell was visiting the Bengals but that was nearly four weeks ago, and it doesn't take four weeks to finalize a contract. Notwithstanding this, Bell's contract is only for one year and the exact numbers have not been released yet.

Bell is an 8-year veteran who was drafted in 2004 by the Titans then joined the Rams in 2008. The Bengals are in need of depth at the guard position since Nate Livings and Mike McGlynn departed in free agency, but I am not so sure that Bell is the answer the Bengals were looking to find. As Josh writes,

Pro Football Focus graded him at -15.8 overall with a run blocking score of -11.0 in 2011. However his grade was slightly better before then, scoring a 4.6 in 2010 and a 4.5 from 2009. Comparatively speaking Mike McGlynn scored a -9.0 and Nate Livings a -13.3 in 2011.

This might not be the player the Bengals are riding the future of their offensive line on, but he does add depth to one of the weakest areas of the Bengals team. Depth doesn't equal quality starts and/or productivity, but, hey, at least Bell can fill an empty roster spot!