The Buffalo Bills, like every other NFL team, host a rookie minicamp every offseason. This is a place for the Bills not only to see their draft picks in action, but it also gives them an opportunity to allow some undrafted players to try out for the roster. More often than not, these minicamps don’t end with significant player discoveries, but sometimes teams can find some players they’d missed in these practice settings.
That’s what happened with the Bills and the subject of today’s “90 players in 90 days.” He’s an undrafted player from the 2019 NFL Draft who has been on Buffalo’s radar ever since.
Name: Mike Bell
Height/Weight: 6’3” 220 lbs
Age: 23 (24 on 12/12/2021)
Experience/Draft: 3; undrafted following the 2019 NFL Draft
College: Fresno State
Acquired: Signed with Bills on 5/13/2021
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Bell’s deal is a one-year contract worth a total of $660,000 for the year. There are no guarantees in the contract, so if Bell is released, Buffalo won’t owe any dead-cap charges.
2020 Recap: Bell spent the offseason with Buffalo following his unsuccessful tryout with the team in their 2019 rookie minicamp. Bell was released at the end of the preseason, but he neither signed with Buffalo’s practice squad nor any other team’s, remaining a free agent throughout the season.
Positional outlook: Bell is one of ten linebackers vying for a roster spot this offseason. While Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, A.J. Klein, and Tyler Matakevich would appear to have legs up on everyone else, with Andre Smith not far off from joining that group, Bell has plenty of competition in the form of Tyrel Dodson, Tyrell Adams, Joe Giles-Harris, and Marquel Lee.
2021 Offseason: Bell is healthy and he participated in OTAs.
2021 Season outlook: Bell is a converted safety who could fit as a “Big Nickel” type, though that particular position isn’t one that head coach Sean McDermott has used much here in Buffalo thanks to the roster’s construction. If Bell has a good camp, there’s a chance that he could sneak on to the practice squad, but given the amount of veteran talent ahead of him, it will be quite difficult for him to crack the roster.