There will be a lot of hand wringing by fans and the media up until the season opener regarding who starts at the critical left tackle position. Coach Chan Gailey won't be joining in that exercise.
After an off-season of watching third-year pro Demetrius Bell, whose father is former NBA great Karl Malone, Gailey is convinced the former seventh-round pick out of Northwestern (La.) State can play at a very high level in the NFL.
It's a view that was formulated by Bills coaches and front executives last year when Bell was named the starter and veteran Langston Walker was cut.
"He's an amazing athlete first of all. Run, jump and change direction all of that was very good," Gailey said. "He went in and played as rookie. He started as a rookie. You don't know how hard that is especially at offensive line. And quarterback and offensive line may be the hardest places to start in this league as a rookie. And he went in and did that and held his own. Now, he made some mistakes and you hope the second year he doesn't make those mistakes. But he is really a very good athlete."
Bell, 6-5, 307 started eight games before injuring his knee and eventually undergoing surgery. He's made a good recovery and the team is hoping he suffers no setbacks during camp so he can settle into the job of protecting the quarterback's blind side.
FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--LB Marcus Buggs (not tendered as ERFA).
--DE Ryan Denney (not tendered as UFA).
--RB Justise Hairston (not tendered as ERFA).
--S Todd Johnson (not tendered as UFA).
--OG Seth McKinney (not tendered as UFA).
--WR Terrell Owens (not tendered as UFA).
--OG Kendall Simmons (not tendered as UFA).
--LB Josh Stamer (not tendered as UFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
--WR Marcus Easley (4/107); $2.310M/4 yrs, $520,000 SB.
--OT Ed Wang (5/140): $1.99M/4 yrs, $199,000 SB.
--LB Arthur Moats (6/178): $1.902M/4 yrs, $112,000 guaranteed.
--LB Danny Batten (6/192): $1.891M/4 yrs, $101,000 SB.
--QB Levi Brown (7/209): $1.860M/ 4 yrs, $69,000 guaranteed.
--OG Kyle Calloway (7/216): $1.851M/4 yrs, $61,000 SB.
--LB Jon Corto: ERFA; $470,000/1 yr.
--*LB Keith Ellison: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M million with sixth-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--OT Christian Gaddis: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Cary Harris: ERFA; $395,000/1 yr.
--TE Joe Klopfenstein: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.
--TE Derek Schouman: RFA; (tendered at $1.684M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.684M/1 yr.
--SS Bryan Scott: Potential UFA; $3M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--TE Jonathan Stupar: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*S George Wilson: RFA; (tendered at $1.759M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.759M/1 yr.
--*CB Ashton Youboty: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--LB Andra Davis: FA Browns; $4.4M/2 yrs.
--DE Dwan Edwards: UFA Ravens; $18M/4 yrs.
--RT Cornell Green: UFA Raiders; $9M/3 yrs.
--WR Chad Jackson: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--TE Martin Matthews (waivers Lions).
--RB Chad Simpson: FA Colts; terms unknown.
--WR Reggie Torbor: FA Dolphins; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--OT Brad Butler (retired).
--LB Chris Draft: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--TE Derek Fine (released).
--*QB Gibran Hamdan: Not tendered as RFA/Toronto-CFL).
--*OG Richie Incognito: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; $725,000/1 yr, $250,000 guaranteed.
--WR Justin Jenkins (released/failed physical).
--DE Jermaine McGhee (released/failed physical).
--LB Ashlee Palmer (released).
--C Marvin Philip (released/failed physical).
--WR Josh Reed: Not tendered as UFA/Chargers; terms unknown.
--OT Jonathan Scott: Not tendered as RFA/Steelers; $545,000/1 yr.
--DE Marcus Smith (released/failed physical).
--S John Wendling (released/failed physical).
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