The Cincinnati Bengals had a rough start to free agency with one of their losses being veteran safety Vonn Bell. He went and signed with the Carolina Panthers. The loss comes as a bit of a surprise, especially after it was revealed what Bell ultimately signed for, according to Aaron Wilson.
The three-year, $22.5-million deal on its own is absolutely what Bell is worth. He played on a three-year $18 million contract previously with the Bengals. It would not have been that much of a raise.
What was likely the issue is the guaranteed $13 million that Cincinnati probably wasn’t going to touch.
#Panthers deal for Vonn Bell: three years $22.5M, $13M gtd, $5.835M signing bonus, salaries $1.165M (gtd), $6M (gtd), $3.25M; $3M roster bonus 3rd day 2024 league year, $3.25M roster bonus 3rd day 2025 league year— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 14, 2023
The question is, should the Bengals have sucked it up and just met Bell where he would have liked them to go?
The reality is this team will likely have Daxton Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt starting Week 1, and Chidobe Awuzie isn’t a lock to be there for the opener. The additional loss of Jessie Bates leaves a serious lack of command in the secondary that had one of the best safety duos in the entire NFL the past three seasons.
The Bengals will likely have to go out and add a veteran safety anyway. They may save some money, but they will be gaining a complete unknown.
If the difference ends up being a few million, you could easily make the case that they would have been better off retaining a guy who has been in the system the past few seasons to help ease the transition to the next generation of Cincinnati defensive backs.
What do you think about the move?
Should the Bengals have coughed up the extra cash for Vonn Bell?
This poll is closed
Yes, he earned it and his leadership would be very valuable
No, he would be too old during the last part of the contract/ he is replaceable
I have to wait and see who/if they sign a replacement