Former Miami Dolphins standout Yeremiah Bell signs with New York Jets

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Former Miami Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell, the longest tenured Dolphin before being released this offseason, is being embraced by the team he once hated.

Bell, who led the Dolphins in tackles for four straight years, will sign a contract with the New York Jets, according to a source. He'll be joining the team that also has former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.

Bell reportedly signed a one-year deal worth $1.4 million, including a $200,000 signing bonus and a $100,000 workout bonus. His $1.1 million base salary is fully guaranteed.

Bell worked out for the Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, predicted he'd have a deal by Friday.

This week Bell, an in-the-box safety who has produced over 100 tackles in each of the past four seasons, worked out for the Titans and Chiefs. But it appears the Jets offer was the best on the table.

Last year, the 34-year-old Bell had 107 tackles (81 solo) to go with two sacks and an interception.

Bell has started 67 straight games for the Dolphins, and hopes to remain a starter. But it's likely he's being signed to add depth to the Jets secondary, which has LaRon Landry and Eric Smith as the projected starters. The Jets also drafted Wake Forest safety Josh Bush in the sixth-round, and South Carolina safety Antonio Allen in the seventh-round.

Bell, who was also a team captain for the Dolphins, has contributed 560 tackles, 11 sacks and six interceptions in his eight years with the Dolphins, whom selected him in the sixth-round of the 2003 draft.

The Dolphins released Bell to avoid paying him his lofty $6.2 million salary, creating $4.3 million in cap space.

Miami ruled out re-signing Bell back in April after signing former Minnesota safety Tyrell Johnson.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle hopes to find more versatile safeties as his starters, allowing the two back end spots in his secondary to become interchangeable.

Johnson and incumbents Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Tyrone Culver and converted cornerback Jimmy Wilson will compete for the Dolphins' two vacant safety spots during training camp.

Johnson, Jones, Clemons and Culver all have starting experience.

"I know Yeremiah will really be missed in Miami," said Rosenhaus, who also represents Clemons and Wilson. "The Dolphins are really banking on some of the young safeties to step up this year."

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