The free agency period has mostly been a quiet one for the Arizona Cardinals. However, one target that got away without a contract is former Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Demetrius Bell. Arizona had him in for a visit but he left without a deal. The Cardinals have a great need at offensive tackle. They re-signed Levi Brown, but the other two guys under contract are only expected to be depth guys. Bell is considered one of the tackles available.
However, Bell clearly thinks more of himself than the rest of the league. Writer Evan Silva tweeted this:
Bell only played in seven games in 2011. He also played only eight games in 2009. The fact that he has missed a long period of time due to injuries in two of the past three seasons is likely a big red flag.
To compare, Levi Brown got a five year, $30 million contract. Bell must be asking in that price range, which for the injury risk he presents, is too much, especially since contracts signed now all go down, especially after the draft.
Most free agents don't make it past a couple of team visits. Bell is now jobless after five team visits.
This is good news for the Cardinals, because he still is in play and, since he is still in play, he will be able to command much less than before.
If Bell makes it past the NFL Draft later this month, the price will go down further.
Bell would be an upgrade over the Levi Brown/Brandon Keith tackle combo, if he can stay healthy, and he would not cost much.
The moral of the story, at least for now, try to find the right price in contract negotiations. The last thing you want to be is jobless when others around you are getting millions of dollars.
Otherwise you end up like Demetrius Bell.
You can talk more Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.