Veteran tackle Byron Bell posted on his Instagram Tuesday night he had agreed to a deal with team.
An undrafted free agent from New Mexico, Bell originally signed with Carolina in 2011. The 29-year-old went on to start 56 of 62 games with the Panthers at right tackle. Bell then signed with Tennessee in 2015 where played three different positions, starting all 16 games. An offseason injury kept him off the field in 2016, and then he spent 2017 in Dallas, where he played in 12 games, including two starts at left tackle.
Bell visited Green Bay last year before signing with the Cowboys. He joins a Packers’ line that still has some questions, namely who will be the starting right tackle. It’s a spot held by Bryan Bulaga for much of the last seven seasons. But the veteran suffered a torn ACL last year, playing in just five games and he likely won’t be able to practice until training camp at the earliest. There was a point in the offseason where it speculated that Bulaga would be cut. That didn’t happen, and during the draft last month general manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Mike McCarthy both indicated Bulaga was part of their plans.
As for other options, former second-round pick Jason Spriggs was lining up with the first-team offense during OTAs last week, but is coming off a major knee injury. 2016 sixth-round pick Kyle Murphy, who also ended last year on the injured reserve, got reps as well.
It’s unlikely the team would have signed Bell if it was comfortable with what was on the roster, meaning it wouldn’t be a total shock if he ended up being the starter at right tackle when the Packers open the season against Chicago in September.