The Eagles say that they were interested in signing tackle Demetress Bell before Jason Peters was lost for the season, but the details of the contract make it seem like he’s being viewed as a one-year replacement for his predecessor at left tackle in both Buffalo and Philadelphia.
It’s a five-year deal between Bell and the Eagles, but, like many other long-term deals, the chances of Bell seeing the full run of the contract are pretty slim. Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports that the deal will pay Bell $3.25 million in salary and bonuses in 2012 with no guaranteed money beyond this season. Bell’s base salaries will be $1 million in 2013, $6 million in 2014, $7 million in 2015 and $8.35 million in 2016.
Those last three years are pricey, but the 2013 salary is misleading. Bell will be due a $8.5 million roster bonus before next season. The Eagles can guarantee that bonus at any point to spread the cap hit over the final four years of the deal, but it seems more likely that they would want to revisit the overall deal before taking that step.
The numbers aren’t totally out of line for an elite left tackle, but Bell hasn’t proven to be one of those to this point in his career. He’s had trouble staying healthy and would need to do that while playing at a very high level to even start the discussion of keeping him at those numbers.