Bengals S Vonn Bell agrees to deal with Panthers in free agency

The Cincinnati Bengals lost a key part of the defense during Monday’s legal tampering window of free agency.

Bengals safety Vonn Bell agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Bell was one of two starting safeties for the Bengals going to free agency this year and seemed like the likelier of the two to return, potentially starting next to Dax Hill in place of Jessie Bates.

Instead, Bell chooses an NFC squad on the same day the Bengals re-signed linebacker Germaine Pratt to a three-year deal.

The move leaves a massive gap next to Hill, the first-rounder from last year who will effectively be a rookie starter next season.

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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire