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Newly Signed Jacob Bell Abruptly Retires from NFL

May 9th, 2012 at 7:50 AM
By Chuck Chapman

Jacob Bell hadn't even had time to have his mail forwarded. The newly signed free agent guard only spent 32 days under contract with the Cincinnati Bengals before deciding to call it a career on Tuesday.

Bell, a Miami University graduate, was signed during free agency after eight seasons as a member of the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams. When signed, he was expected to compete for the other guard slot opposite fellow free agent signee, Travelle Wharton. When the Bengals drafted Kevin Zeitler out of Wisconsin in the first round, it became evident that Bell would be competing for a job as a reserve.

Bell spoke with the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy on Tuesday, telling him:

“In the NFL we’re modern-day gladiators and we sell our soul to the game of football for a price, but what is that price? Everyone has a price and for me I wanted to make sure that I don’t have any regrets about my future in regards to what I’ve done in the NFL. At this point I can walk away with no regrets and left on my own terms where the NFL didn’t force me out and I made that decision on my own. There were a lot of factors and discussions with my family and myself and I think it was the right decision to be made.”
Bell had been a starter his entire career and was also coming off a knee sprain which sidelined him for the final four games of the 2011 seasons. It would appear that he had had enough of the grinding existence of an NFL lineman and decided to walk away while he still could.
The Bengals have made several moves in the past few days which will lessen the impact depth-wise of Bell's decision. In addition to incumbent backups Clint Boling and Otis Hudson, the team signed undrafted free agents Mike Ryan and Trevor Robinson. Yesterday they also claimed Chris Reilly off waivers from Tampa Bay.
Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Jacob Bell, NFL

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