Demetress Bell agrees to a five-year deal with Eagles [AUDIO]
Eagles signed left tackle Demetress Bell, formerly of the Bills, to a five-year contract.
Former Bills safety Mark Kelso, from the Bills Radio Network joined the Sports Bash to tell us more about Bell.
Bell is a very athletic but has been unreliable due to injury, he is the son of former NBA star Karl Malone. He was arguably the best offensive lineman left on the market and provides the Eagles with insurance for Jason Peters.
The deal is almost certainly front-loaded, with little money guaranteed beyond 2012, when the Eagles expect Peters to return. All 30 of Bell's starts the past three years have come at left tackle, so Todd Herremans will likely remain on the right side, which is Mike Vick's blind-side.
Through three weeks of free agency, no team was been willing to meet the talented but oft-injured Bell's asking price, Bell left his Eagles visit Sunday without a contract but seems like he figured this was the best chance to make quick money, impress and win now.
Said Eagles head coach Andy Reid, “Demetress was one of the top free agent offensive linemen available this year and we are happy to be able to add him to our squad. We had a chance to meet him over the weekend and study him extensively on tape and we came away quite impressed with what we saw and heard. He’s a great athlete.”
Added Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, “Demetress is a guy we’ve followed since he joined the league. He’s a big, athletic left tackle and he has quite a few games of experience under his belt with Buffalo. He’ll excel with our style of play on the offensive line.”
A seventh round draft choice of Buffalo in 2008, Bell (6-5, 311) notched 30 starts at left tackle in his four years with the Bills, including all 16 contests in 2010. The 27-year-old Bell started six games with the Bills in 2011 as he dealt with a shoulder injury, but the team amassed a 4-2 record in those outings.
The Summerfield, LA, native originally attended Northwestern State on a basketball scholarship but after redshirting as a freshman, he decided to join the football team as a defensive end. Prior to that point, Bell had never played organized football because his high school (Summerfield) did not carry a team.
He switched to offensive tackle a year later and went on to record 22 consecutive starts in his final two seasons, earning All-America, All-Southland Conference, and All-Louisiana honors as a senior and team captain in 2007. In addition, Bell helped the basketball team to a Southland Conference East Division championship in 2006.
Bell was an all-state basketball standout at Summerfield High School, where he averaged 17.8 points and 10.2 rebounds.