Free Agent OL Byron Bell Visits Green Bay
The Packers are doing a little free agent shopping, hosting several unsigned players at Lambeau Field.
Among them is Byron Bell, a 28-year old swing lineman heading into his seventh season in the NFL. According to ESPN's Field Yates, Bell visited today along with running back Christine Michael.
Bell missed all of the 2016 season after dislocating his ankle on the first day of OTAs last may. Prior to that, he’d been a career starter at several different offensive line positions.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of New Mexico, Bell signed with the Carolina Panthers and started 56 games in his first four NFL seasons.
In 2015, Bell signed with the Tennessee Titans and started all 16 games, splitting time at left tackle, left guard, and right tackle.
He re-signed with the Titans prior to the 2016 season, only to miss the entire year after his gruesome injury.
What Bell could bring to the Packers
The Packers need a starting right guard, and Bell has the experience and size (6-5, 340) to make it work. He’s started everywhere he’s been throughout his career, and while he may not be an elite level player, the Packers could use another big body.
Bell also has intriguing versatility, which is something the Packers value from their offensive linemen. Don Barclay has made a career out of being able to line up virtually anywhere, and Bell certainly has shown he can do that.
However, whatever Bell does contribute should not be considered elite by any measure. He was Pro Football Focus’s worst rated free agent offensive tackle in 2015, and it’s hard to imagine him improving substantially after a serious injury.
Still, if the price is right, his size and ability to play multiple positions could be worth a look.