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Eric Winston Release Depresses Demetrius Bell's Open Market Stock

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Among the many impending free agents that the Buffalo Bills have expressed interest in re-signing, the biggest remaining name on the list is that of left tackle Demetrius Bell. Though he missed a combined 17 games in 2009 and 2011 with leg and shoulder injuries, Bills brass has said since February that they'd be interested in bringing Bell back - but only to compete for the left tackle job, conceivably with 2011 fourth-round pick Chris Hairston.

Instead, as free agency begins this afternoon, all indications are that Bell will test the open market. He's consistently appeared on lists of top free agents this off-season - thanks largely to playing a premium position at which little top talent is available this off-season - and may be looking to see what offers from other teams will look like.

The presence of Jared Gaither and Eric Winston, just released by Houston yesterday, could make Bell a Plan B option for many teams on the open market, however. If that's the case, any offer(s) that Bell has gotten from Buffalo may look more appealing today. Bell is therefore not out of the picture completely, but there's every chance that the Bills will be out-bid by some desperate team.