The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting Buffalo Bills free agent tackle Demetrius Bell, Scott Brown of the Tribune-Review reports.
Bell, 27, is one of the best left tackles on the free agent market and when healthy, is an above average left tackle who could start for a number of teams.
A seventh round pick in 2008, Bell was named the Bills starting left tackle in 2009 out of training camp in just his second season. Injuries though have plagued him for his whole career, which has him still looking for the right offer, destination.
In 2009, Bell started all eight games he appeared in before suffering a season ending knee injury. In 2010, Bell started all 16 games, but a shoulder injury limited him to just seven games in 2011, where he made 6 starts. All of Bell’s 30 career starts have been made at left tackle.
Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler coached the 6-foot-5, 311-pound Bell in 2008 and 2009. The Eagles, Redskins, Packers and Dolphins have been among the teams to show interest in Bell this off-season.
ON STEELERS INTRIGUING OPTIONS THEY COULD EXPLORE AT THE TACKLE POSITION
The Steelers are currently locked in at the tackle position with Marcus Gilbert and Willie Colon, while Jonathan Scott’s future with the team is up in the air, depending on what the Steelers do at the draft or bring in an upgrade over him via free agency.
Scott carries a $2.7 million cap hit and the Steelers would save over $2 million in cap space if they were to release Scott before the regular season.
One option the Steelers haven’t ruled out is bringing back Max Starks again at the veteran minimum if Starks checks out health wise leading into camp. Starks won’t be recovered from ACL surgery until at least June.
That possible option is among the reasons Scott’s regarded as a player who probably won’t be around by week 1.
Internally right now, the Steelers have Marcus Gilbert penciled in at left tackle with Willie Colon at right tackle. The Steelers though could finally explore using Colon at guard, something former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was always against but others in the organization have been intrigued about.
It’s an unlikely route the Steelers go but with Arians no longer around, it can’t be ruled out. Other teams around the league have also viewed Colon as a guard. The Chicago Bears offered him a 5 year, $32.5 million deal last summer to play guard.