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Vonn Bell captaining his way into a contract year

What is next for this defensive leader?

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Vonn Bell won the hearts and minds of Cincinnati Bengals fans with his 2020 hit Monday Night Football hit on Juju Smith-Schuster, which sent the ball flying from the aspiring TikTok influencer’s hands.

Now the two-time team captain is entering the last year of his contract still in his prime. What’s next for him?

Vonn Bell

  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • Age: 27
  • College: Ohio State
  • Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
  • Experience: 7th year

Contract status

Bell is entering the final year of the three-year, $18 million contract he signed with the Bengals in 2020. His cap hit will be just under $7.5 million, and In the unlikely event that the Bengals cut him, they would take a $1 million cap hit and save nearly $6.5 million.


After winning a National Championship at The Ohio State University, Bell was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He started 45 games at free safety, strong safety, and nickel corner in four years with the Saints.

He had 89 tackles in each of his last two seasons with the Saints. This was a career high for Bell, which he shattered in his first year in Cincinnati. That season, he had 114 tackles. The following season, he added 97 more to his career total.

Outlook for 2022

The Jessie Bates contract situation gets all the attention, and rightfully so, but Bell’s future with the team is also uncertain as he enters the final year of his contract. For now, Bates didn’t get the massive deal he’s looking for, which makes it at least a bit more likely that Bell gets a new deal eventually.

Then again, the Bengals just drafted another safety, Dax Hill, in the first round. They are going to want to get him on the field as soon as possible. If the team cannot work out a deal with Bates next offseason before he hits free agency in 2023, they will be highly motivated to keep Bell in Cincinnati and some consistency at the position.

Any way you look at it, an impressive 2022 could be financially lucrative for Bell. Expect big things from the safety this season. Whether the future is Bell and Hill or Bates and Hill, the future looks bright.

Roster Odds: 100%