Lost in the shuffle of the weekend was a bit of news that should interest (and perhaps disappoint) Green Bay Packers fans. Last week, reports indicated that veteran offensive lineman Byron Bell, an unrestricted free agent, was visiting the Packers. Bell made sense for Green Bay, as he had played guard in Tennessee and was a solid player there for half a season in 2015.
However, late on Friday, Bell agreed to a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys instead. An interesting note is that in the team’s official announcement, the Cowboys refer to Bell specifically as an offensive tackle, with indications that he could compete for the open right tackle job vacated by Doug Free’s retirement.
Bell got a one-year contract, likely for under $2 million. His one-year deal in Tennessee for 2016 was worth $2.25 million, though he spent the entirety of that year on injured reserve and missed out on $400,000 in active roster bonuses.
This signing further reduces the already-weak market for offensive guards remaining in free agency. APC broke down a few names still on the market over the weekend, with Jahri Evans (formerly of the Saints) and Andrew Gardner (49ers) as possible cheap, veteran options. For now, the Packers’ top internal options for the right guard job likely consist of Don Barclay, Kyle Murphy, and Lucas Patrick.