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Reports: Bengals Playoff Hero And Mentor Vonn Bell In Line For Reunion

S Vonn Bell
S Vonn Bell

According to multiple reports, Bengals playoff hero Vonn Bell is returning on a one-year deal to help the secondary's offseason renovation that began earlier in the week with the Geno Stone agreement.

Bell, a nine-year veteran known for his early-morning workout ethic and off-day secondary meetings during his three seasons in Cincinnati, is just what the doctor (in this case defensive coordinator Dr. Lou Anarumo) ordered as the Bengals look to improve their secondary's communication in order to prevent last year's spate of big plays allowed.

When he was here, Anarumo fondly called Bell's intelligence a 600 class in football. Safety Michael Thomas called him "a five-star general." The memo has now been read as reports earmark a reunion after a one-year hiatus in Carolina.

The Bengals are transitioning to a secondary depth chart that now has four starting caliber safeties in Stone, Bell, Dax Hill, and Jordan Battle in the wake of Nick Scott's release on Wednesday.

Bell knows the system cold and can help Stone learn it and Battle, a second-year player who won the job last year, perfect it. With the league going more and more to three safety looks, Bell is certainly more than just a veteran presence. It also means they may already be counting Hill as one of six or seven cornerbacks instead of with the four or five safeties.

Bell, 29, already has a secure spot in Bengals' lore. His hit that forced Steelers showman JuJu Smith-Schuster to fumble on the Bengals' logo moments after he danced on it in a 2020 Monday Night game at Paycor Stadium did as much as anything to set the table for the mindset of the 2021 Super Bowl run.

Then in the first series of overtime of the AFC title game in Kansas City that year, fellow safety Jessie Bates III tipped the Patrick Mahomes' pass to Tyreek Hill and Bell ran to the ball to make a shoestring dive for the interception to set up the winning drive.

Go back to a 2022 story documenting one of Bell's dawn workouts and this is why the Bengals love him in a new secondary room.

"I love the process," Bell said. "I like having guys coming from different backgrounds and coming together for one common goal.

"Then when you see yourself get older, you become a mentor and you see a young guy, it's like a reflection of you coming up.

"It's just a maturation process of him growing up before your eyes. That's why I enjoy it. That really fuels my fire. It's being there for the guys and doing things at a high level. And getting paid? Why not?"

A collection of S Vonn Bell's top photos from his first stint as a Bengal.

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