The New England Patriots have worked out former Chicago Bears running back Kahlil Bell, per a tweet from NFL Insider extraordinaire Jason La Canfora. The Bears waived the 25-year-old UCLA product on the 23rd of August after he refused to reduce his salary from $1.26 million to $700,000, as the Bears deemed his salary to be too much for a third-stringer.
Bell made an impact for the Bears late in the season and finished 2011 with 79 carries for 337 rushing yards for an average of 4.3 yards per carry. An inconsistent blocker as well, Bell has been criticize for his ball security but is a solid No. 3 back at this level. The Bears signing of Michael Bush pushed him far back, and Bell is a player looking to break out, even though his running style is far from that term (more of the solid yardage type than the explosive, big-gain type).
That latter description is interesting, since it is unique to every back on the Patriots roster except Brandon Bolden. It would be interesting to see the Pats sign Bell as he is a quality back, but I just don’t see the need for him. The team did place Jeff Demps on the injured reserve, so there is an opening for the guy whose most famous moment in the NFL thus far was his 100-yard Christmas game.
A lot transpired between Kahlil Bell and the Chicago Bears, and he is clearly looking for a fresh start. I can definitely see the Patriots signing him if the price is right, but the price should be closer to $700,000 than $1.26 million. Bell has upside, but it is fair to question his overall skill-set. Still, the Patriots are doing their due diligence, and that’s praise-worthy. Bell is one of those intriguing backs who is worth working out to see where he is and how he might fit.
So fans, what do you guys think? Should the Patriots go after Kahlil Bell? They are likely just looking at a player to add to their emergency list should things go wrong, so keep that in mind.
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