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Yeremiah Bell to test open market in free agency

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that safety Yeremiah Bell will test the free agent market come next Friday rather than re-signing with the Dolphins prior to the start of free agency.  But that doesn't mean he will not be back in Miami next year.  The Dolphins are reportedly interested in bringing back Bell.  Here's what his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said:

"The Dolphins would like to have him back. I anticipate him making it to free agency in all likelihood."

"He would be interested in playing in Miami, but we're going to keep all of our options open."

"Just because a guy makes it to the free-agent market doesn't mean he can't sign back with his team. You just have to explore all of your options sometimes."

"You have to see what kind of opportunities you have. If you're not on the same page with the team you look and see if what else is out there, and sometimes it helps you make an educated decision."

Bell, you'll remember, was primed for a breakout season in 2007.  He came off a terrific second half of the 2006 season and had just completed a training camp in 2007 in which it seemed like Bell was blossoming into a very, very good play-making safety.  Then he tore his Achilles tendon in week 1 against the Redskins and was lost for the year.

But it's now been 6 months since his surgery and teams are likely to take a chance on a low-risk player like Bell in free agency.  That's why it isn't beneficial at all to the Dolphins for Bell to make it to free agency.  But with Rosenhaus calling the shots, it's all but definite that Bell will not be signed by Miami come February 29.  And I got a feeling there are going to be quite a few teams lined up to sign Bell to a contract.

Of course, I'll quickly forget about losing Bell if the Dolphins can sign another safety like...Gibril Wilson to replace him.  But that probably isn't likely.  If Bell does leave, we are looking at Renaldo Hill and Jason Allen as starting safeties.  That's not a good omen.

Thoughts on this?