Packers next to host Demetrius Bell

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Former Bills tackle Demetrius Bell is the No. 2-rated unrestricted free agent left unsigned on the PFT Hot 100. He’s a 28-year-old, starting-caliber left tackle who’s been unlucky when it comes to avoiding the injury bug.

But Packers G.M. Ted Thompson knows a potential bargain when he sees one, and Bell fits the bill. Per Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 in Buffalo, Bell will be visiting Green Bay later this week.

As a Packer, Bell could provide competition at left tackle if the team cuts the cord on longtime starter Chad Clifton. Clifton turns 36 this offseason, is owed nearly $6 million in salary and bonuses, and underwent back surgery in February.

Clifton’s likely successor is expected to be Marshall Newhouse, but he’s had his fare share of problems in past spot starts. At least based on talent alone, Bell would be an upgrade on Newhouse.

33 responses to “Packers next to host Demetrius Bell

  1. What happened to “Mr. Ted Thompson builds a team through the draft, which is the only way to do it”? All of a sudden, he’s plugging holes with free agents. Didn’t he hear about the extra draft picks he just got?

  2. I think Sherrod is considered the heir apparent, and Newhouse is thought of as a fallback. Although Sherrod’s status does hinge on his recovery from the broken leg he sustained towards the end of last year.

  3. take it from a bills fan..hes not that good. if he was we wouldn’t be letting him go check out all these teams. he’s an average tackle who cannot stay healthy

  4. Starting caliber LT under 30 with injury concerns who the Bills let walk as a free agent, sounds like Jonas Jennings all over again.

  5. Newhouse plays well against average talent. When he faces an above average to elite talent, his technique sags and he tries to rely on physical ability, something that doesn’t work in his favor.

  6. I’m all for bringing in Bell if he’s cheap, but Newhouse wasn’t terrible last year. He wasn’t great, but he didn’t flat out suck. For a 2nd year player drafted in the 5th round, coming from a school that routinely played inferior competition (TCU) he did better than expected.

    Throw onto that Sherrod, who got drafted #32 overall just last April for a reason. He should be ready to compete by about mid season, and I think you’ve got a solid, if unspectacular group of LT’s. Of course, Bell would be good insurance.

    LT TBD, Land, Saturday, Sitton, Bulaga. That’s a solid starting 5. Best in the NFCN by far!

    Keep it up TT!

  7. let Sherrod’s leg heal up on the pup list, have marshall as a back up, let clifton retire so he isn’t completely banged up like some former players, get depth, sounds like a plan.

  8. The Bills offered Bell league minimum for a reason. Not really that good. A perfect fit for our cherubic foes across the river,,,

  9. At 6’5″ and 307lbs entering the prime of his career his career body of work is lacking. Someone will undoubtedly offer him a lot more money than what the Bills have offered him and believe they can unlock his potential and blame the “injury bug” for his track record. Hopefully they won’t find someone who is under motivated and doesn’t play with any heart for all the money he’s about to cash in on.

  10. Bell will be great for a 2 or 3 game stretch, then a hangnail will sideline him for 4 or 5 games. Word of warning to the Pack- a couple years back the Bills played the Vikings and Jared Allen made him look silly. Truly one of the worst games I’ve ever seen a LT play.

  11. It is literally impossible to say what kind of talent Bell has. He looked terrible in training camp last year, but seemed to pick up his play once the season started. And once again he gets hurt. He hasn’t been on the field long enough to determine if he has what it takes to be a starter.

  12. Bell was a 7th round project when the Bills drafted him in ’08. He still plays like he’s a project player if and when he’s healthy. Let GB have him. That’s Reilly Reiff’s spot in Buffalo anyhow.

  13. thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Mar 26, 2012 5:23 PM
    What happened to “Mr. Ted Thompson builds a team through the draft, which is the only way to do it”? All of a sudden, he’s plugging holes with free agents. Didn’t he hear about the extra draft picks he just got?

    __________

    Your just jealous. The rich get richer! You get nothing.

  14. MedCityBob says: Mar 26, 2012 6:17 PM

    Ted Thompson signing Two (2) Free Agents ! !
    Is the World coming to an end ? ? ?
    ============================

    Jeff Saturday and Daniel Muir so far.

    Interest in Anthony Hargrove and Manny Lawson, in addition to Bell.

    It’s weird, isn’t it?

  15. Sherrod looked lost last year and signing Bell would be good insurance, plus added depth since Bulaga has missed a few games as well – assuming Bell could play some RT as well.

  16. Sherrod looked like a rookie is what he looked like. He is the true heir apparent at LT but the injury might have screwed that up.

    If Bell can be had for cheap it’s worth a shot to bring him in and see what he can do.

  17. thankheavenfornumberseven says:Mar 26, 2012 5:23 PM

    What happened to “Mr. Ted Thompson builds a team through the draft, which is the only way to do it”? All of a sudden, he’s plugging holes with free agents. Didn’t he hear about the extra draft picks he just got?
    _________________________

    Yes he does build a team through the draft for the long term but when you have the team built and need to address a few spots like pass-rush and adding depth to the Oline. To help get them back to the Superbowl

  18. The Bills did offer him a contract but he didn’t accept it because I would assume it was embarrassingly low. The Cardinals met with him but opted to resign the guy they released a couple days earlier, and the Redskins didn’t see enough in him to sign him. If I had to speculate, I would guess he’s not a starting caliber LT, probably just a career backup.

  19. Thank you Ted Thompson for signing some free agents and looking at others! Now people can stop using you as an excuse as to why their teams shouldn’t pursue free agents – “The Packers don’t sign free agents; they build through the draft”.

    Yes, build through the draft and add to the talent base through free agency when appropriate. Teams should always be looking to improve and find talent any way they can. Clearly in the past Thompson didn’t like what he saw on the market compared to what he already had on his roster.

  20. Sure seems like Teddy is setting the table for a move up in the draft by adding depth in both lines with possible Bell and Hargrove, as well as Muir and a starting center in Saturday. I wonder if a potential move up is for a safety, DL, corner, or ROLB? In my opinion, we have had the most trouble finding OLB players from the scrap heap, and have not done real well when drafting DL high, so I’d prefer an OLB, but it is almost impossible to predict what TT has in mind, whatever it is, I know it is well thought out.

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