The Cardinals brought Yeremiah Bell in for cheap last season, a minimum salary deal to have a smart presence both in the secondary (he started every game) and in the locker room. There was always the chance he could return, and indeed, Mike Jurecki reported the Cards have extended a one-year offer to Bell. Jurecki also reported Bell is leaning towards retirement.
Retiring wouldn’t be a shock given Bell’s age (36) but it does go against his thoughts the day after the season ended. “I’m glad I came here as a player,” Bell said. “I didn’t know a lot of these guys before I came here but to sit in this locker room and go through battle each week with these guys was really nice. Of course I’d love to be back here with these guys but this is a business. We’ll see how it goes.”
Things change, though, and sometimes, the effort and work required for an older player to get through another season isn’t worth the paycheck — however handsome it might look to someone who doesn’t play the game. The other factor is the reality that a safety spot would probably not be a lock for Bell if the Cards were able to find help in the draft. That’s something else that would need to be considered.
This is a draft where the Cards can find a safety. The Cards have been linked to potential first-round picks Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, but they can probably nab one later if they go in a different first-round direction. It’s definitely a position in need of an upgrade. Coach Bruce Arians said late in the season he was generally pleased with Bell’s play, but there is no question the Cards’ inability to cover tight ends — a job that in part fell on Bell — was an Achilles’ heel all season. The Cards also have unknowns around the return of starter Tyrann Mathieu. Second-year man Tony Jefferson may be ready for a bigger role. Rashad Johnson remains a component of the rotation. Bell would probably be a fallback option at this point, but one that would allow more flexibility on draft day. We’ll have to see if his Arizona tenure has a chance to continue.
Tags: Calvin Pryor, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Tony Jefferson, Tyrann Mathieu, Yeremiah Bell
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