Buffalo Bills Lose Demetrius Bell and Roscoe Parrish To Free Agency – And That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

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Parrish was admittedly a really good fit for Chan Gailey’s scheme – when he was healthy. The problem with Roscoe Parrish is that Roscoe Parrish hasn’t been healthy in at least three years. Before that, he was buried on the bench at the end of the Dick Jauron era. Parrish’s last productive and healthy season was in 2007. Really.

The Bills already have a fierce battle brewing for roster spots at WR. The only two guys I’d say are guaranteed to make this roster at WR are Stevie Johnson and David Nelson. After that, it’s going to be a war between Donald Jones, Marcus Easley, Ruvell Martin, Derek Hagan, Kamar Aiken, Naaman Roosevelt, and David Clowney (plus anyone Buffalo drafts) to make this roster and get playing time. Do we really need an injury-prone veteran further muddling this picture? Better to let the young guys go at it and let Parrish go on his way.

I do think Parrish can still play – he had a career year in just half a season in 2010 – but can the Bills really afford to have Parrish once again win a roster spot in training camp and then once again get hurt in Week 2 and leave the team scrambling?

As for Bell, yes, it’s hard to see a talented left tackle go. Especially one the Bills have put so much time and effort into developing. And Bell really did play well in 2011 – when he was on the field. Here again, we have a man that just can not stay healthy. He’s missed half of two of the last three seasons with injury. More concerning to me is that he really seems to be a slow healer – the shoulder injury that took him out last season seemed like it was “just a week away” for about six weeks straight. I just have no faith this guy can get through NFL seasons in one piece.

Plus Philly paid a ton for Bell – five years, $35 million. As well as he played in 2011 at times, do you really think Bell should be paid like a top-flight left tackle? I’m sure Buddy Nix doesn’t either, and that’s why Bell is no longer a Bill.

Also, while left tackle is super important in any offense, there might not be a team where tackle is less important than Buffalo right now. Why? Because Ryan Fitzpatrick gets rid of the ball so fast. It’s not like Bell had to hold up too long most plays.

Anyway, now the Bills can feel free to go ahead and grab a long-term solution at left tackle in the first round of this year’s draft, or hand the keys over to second-year man Chris Hairston. Either way, I don’t think Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills offense will be hurting too much.

So yes, losing guys we care about hurts. But I think Buddy Nix made the right call in letting these two walk.

Note: In a truly bizarre add-on to the Bell signing, the Eagles also announced the Bell’s first name is now spelled “Demetress.” Bell supposedly recently came across his birth certificate and noticed that’s how his name was spelled on his birth certificate, and that his mother has been spelling it “wrong” all these years. I would say that she spelled it “wrong” on the birth certificate and fixed it as Bell grew up.  It’s understandable she’d mess up the spelling, since Bell’s mother was just 14 at time and had been abandoned by Bell’s father (who, weirdly enough, is NBA Hall of Fame Karl Malone). She probably had other things on her mind that how to spell “Demetrius” or “Demetress.”

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