Skip to main content

Former Buckeyes Safety Vonn Bell Returns To Ohio, Signs One-Year Deal With Bengals

Vonn Bell is back near the Ohio State Buckeyes after a one-year stay with the Carolina Panthers.

Vonn Bell is heading back to the state of Ohio and will be a hop, skip, and jump away from his alma mater.

The veteran Ohio State Buckeyes safety agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, his agent David Canter announced Thursday. Bell, 29, should have a chance to start right away, or at least compete for first-team reps alongside second-year defender Jordan Battle.

Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2016, Bell inked a three-year deal with the Bengals in 2020 and served as a defensive captain for three seasons. Last season, Bell started 13 games for the Carolina Panthers, totaling 69 tackles and an interception.

He was released prior to the start of free agency earlier this week.

According to NFL Network, Bell will make $6 million in 2024 by the Panthers, as his 2024 salary was fully guaranteed in the three-year deal signed last offseason. In Cincinnati, his contract will be the veteran minimum.

It's a welcomed return for the Tennessee native, who posted career numbers as a member of the AFC North franchise. Bell also was one of the major pieces added by Cincinnati prior to the drafting of Ohio native Joe Burrow who helped secure two trips to the AFC Championship and a Super Bowl berth in 2021.

Bell started 55 total games for 'Who Dey Nation,' recording 328 total tackles with six interceptions, eight forced fumbles, 15 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 22 passes defended.

A member of the 2014 national championship roster under Urban Meyer, Bell started two seasons for the Buckeyes before declaring for the NFL Draft following the 2015 season. He totaled 175 tackles, 15 pass breakups, nine interceptions, and a sack in 36 career games.