Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rams Sign Bell

The St Louis Rams bolstered their offensive line on Tuesday after they signed guard Jacob Bell to a six-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the St Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the deal is worth 36 million, including a 7 million signing bonus and 13 million in guaranteed money.

Bell, 27, will be entering his fifth season after spending his entire career with the Tennessee Titans.

The Rams, who suffered multiple injuries to their offensive line last season, had been heavily pursuing seven-time Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca, who signed a record 40 million deal with the New York Jets.

With Faneca off the open market, St Louis turned their attention to Bell.

"All along we liked two guys in the interior line in free agency and we got one of them," Rams coach Scott Linehan said.

"Jacob wanted to be here, he wanted to make the visit. He wanted to be with the Rams.

"Jacob just turned 27. He's going into his prime. This is a tremendous athlete who plays well against great competition. He showed that against the best linemen in the AFC South. He should be a mainstay in our offensive line for several years."

In 2006, Bell was a member of an offensive line that helped the Titans rank fifth in the NFL in rushing with 2,214 yards, good for a franchise record 4.7 yards per carry.

Bell has played in 55 career games, including a career-high 16 starts in 2007. Of his 46 career starts, Brown has started 43 at left guard and three at right tackle.

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