Former Ohio State safety Vonn Bell returns to Cincinnati, re-signig with Bengals

The former Buckeye standout is back in Ohio.
Vonn Bell, an NFL free agent, is on the move again. The former Ohio State safety is returning to the state where he had success twice during his football career.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Bell has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, returning to the team for which he played and served as captain from 2020 to 2022. According to Ian Rapaport of NFL Network, Bell is signing a one-year, $6 million fully guaranteed contract, with his former team, the Carolina Panthers, paying the majority of the money. Bell will be paid the league minimum for the Bengals.\

After three successful seasons in Cincinnati, Bell agreed to a three-year contract with the Panthers last summer. He started all 13 games, totaling 69 tackles, two passes defended, and one interception, but was released by Carolina this month.
In 2016, the New Orleans Saints selected Bell in the second round of the NFL draft. To begin his NFL career, he played four seasons with New Orleans, totaling 348 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, eight sacks, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and one interception.

Former Ohio State Safety Vonn Bell Returning to Cincinnati Bengals | Eleven  Warriors

Following the 2019 season, Bell signed with the Bengals as a free agent and spent three seasons in Cincinnati. Bell was part of the Bengals team that went to Super Bowl LVI, losing to the Los Angeles Rams. During his time in Cincinnati, Bell managed 288 total tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 21 passes defended, five interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He left Cincinnati as a free agent last offseason.
There were big expectations for Bell even before he arrived at Ohio State. The country’s No. 2 safety in the 2013 class, according to the 247Sports Composite, was a five-star prospect and was a top 30 player in the nation. Despite his lofty high school rankings, Bell was a backup as a true freshman, recording 19 total tackles and one tackle for a loss. He made his first start in the final game of the Buckeyes’ 2013 season in the Orange Bowl game against Clemson, registering seven tackles and an important interception.

Vonn Bell Returns To Cincinnati Bengals on 1 Year Contract | Reacton
After winning the starting job heading into 2014, Bell was a key cog in the Ohio State defense that helped carry the team to the first College Football Playoff national championship game. He had a career-high 91 total tackles, six interceptions, two tackles for a loss and one sack and was crowned a national champion as a sophomore.

After winning the national championship, Bell and his teammates returned in search of another chance. While the offense faltered early in the season, the Buckeye defense, lead by Bell, carried the team, finishing in the top ten in total defense. Bell recorded 65 total tackles, two interceptions, and one tackle for loss.
Bell finished his Ohio State career with 175 total tackles, nine interceptions, four tackles for loss, and one sack. Bell was selected first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten during his junior season. Following his junior season, Bell declared that he will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.

Returning to Cincinnati means reuniting with former Buckeye and Bengals teammate Sam Hubbard. The two will try to return Cincinnati to the NFL playoffs after missing out last year.

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