Former Bears, Jaguars defensive back dies

Ricky Bell, who played defensive back in the NFL for the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars, has died.

The 36-year-old passed away last week in Columbia, S.C. No cause of death was given.

Bell, a captain during his playing days at North Carolina State, played three seasons for the Bears from 1997 to 1999 after breaking into the league with the Jaguars. He also made stops in NFL Europe and the XFL and was a member of a Grey Cup championship team in Calgary in 2001. His CFL playing days ended in 2007 and he spent one year playing Arena Football.

"I remember my brother saying, 'Rick, you know the chances of you playing professional ball are one in a million?"' his mother Florence Bell said. "And he looked at my brother and said, 'Well, uncle, I'm going to be that man. I'm going to be that one."'

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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