March 6, 2010

RFA RB Mike Bell to visit Seattle

Restricted free agent RB Mike Bell will visit the Seattle Seahawks in the next two days, according to online reports.

Bell is a restricted free agent tendered at a level with no compensation for the Saints should he leave. The Saints do have right of first refusal on any contract offer sheet Bell signs.

Bell has been a Saint since November 2008 and contributed to a runningback rotation this season as the Saints' made their Super Bowl XLIV run. He rushed 172 times for 654 yards, his best season since 2006 with Denver.

Bell missed an opportunity for immortality, slipping and falling on a goal line run (2:20) in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. After the run, NFL Films caught head coach Sean Payton angrily blaming the gaffe for Bell's decision in shoes.

Bell started three games for the Saints in 2009 but got most his action subbing for Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, scoring five touchdowns, four of them from inside three yards out and a fifth from seven yards out.

Younger RB Lynell Hamilton, a 2008 undrafted free agent who has fought his way to playing time with the Saints, may replace Bell in the closer's role in 2010. Hamilton scored three touchdowns in 2009, both from one yard out.

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