Eskimos sign Lloyd, Bell

The Edmonton Eskimos have signed free agent middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd and fullback Graeme Bell, the team announced on Tuesday.

The Edmonton Eskimos bolstered their defence by signing free-agent middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd, the team announced on Tuesday.

Lloyd, a CFL all-star last season, has been one of the league's most dominant defensive players over the past three seasons and helped lead Saskatchewan to its 2007 Grey Cup win.

The five-foot-11, 235-pound linebacker started in all 18 regular season games for the Roughriders during the 2008 season and posted an impressive 74 tackles, nine special team tackles, five sacks and one forced fumble.

"Maurice Lloyd is an impact player who's capable of changing the course of a game," Eskimos head coach Richie Hall said. "This is a very important signing and we're excited to see Maurice making big plays in an Eskimo uniform."

Edmonton also announced it has acquired free-agent fullback Graeme Bell, who lands with the team after spending the last four years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Regina-born Bell dressed for all of the Bombers' games in 2008 while racking up three carries for one yard and one touchdown, and two receptions for 11 yards. 

"Graeme is a strong, versatile player," said Hall. "His skill will add to our already solid Canadian talent pool."