Bills lose backup plan at left tackle

Earlier this week we put the spotlight on the left tackle position of the Buffalo Bills. I talked to Bills coach Chan Gailey about the position last week at the NFL owners meetings, and he said the position is still a question mark with several options.

One of those options was just taken off the board Wednesday. Former Buffalo left tackle Demetrius Bell signed a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to replace the injured Jason Peters (Achilles). Bell was a former seventh-round pick for Buffalo who started 30 games. But injuries derailed Bell in 2011 and he played just seven games.

Buffalo liked Bell and was interested in him at a reasonable price. But the Bills were not going to overpay and give Bell premium left tackle money. Interest eventually picked up for Bell and he signed elsewhere.

Bell’s departure heightens the need for Buffalo to find a starting-caliber left tackle in the draft. Buffalo holds the No. 10 pick and has been projected by many to take Iowa's Riley Reiff. The Bills' other options at left tackle would be to go with 22-year old Chris Hairston, who is raw, or move Andy Levitre from guard to left tackle.