The Philadelphia Eagles cut someone on Feb. 6, exactly as expected. Although he had a lot of hope and promise when he first came to the Eagles, he was a dramatic, expensive flop in 2012 and had to leave as a result. However, this happened to Demetress Bell on Feb. 6 and not Michael Vick.
While the Eagles are letting Vick stay until March 12, left tackle Bell was more easily cut, according to the Associated Press on Feb. 6. Bell originally came to Philadelphia out of necessity, when Jason Peters was out for all of 2012. Yet Bell couldn’t even keep the job for more than five games, although King Dunlap couldn’t make up for Peters’ absence as well.
In their panic over Peters’ injury, the Eagles signed Bell away from the Buffalo Bills with a five-year, $35 million contract. Fortunately, they only gave him a one-year guarantee, given that Peters is set to come back after that season.
Thus far, Peters is still on track to return in 2013, although Bell would not have been an ideal backup plan anymore. With only five starts, nine games of playing time and the opportunity to cut $9.6 million from the salary cap by releasing him, Bell’s departure was a no-brainer.
Vick’s departure was supposed to be predictable as well, but he will remain on the roster until free agency begins on March 12. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they don’t know if they have a better option to replace Vick with yet. At the least, they know Peters will be ready to step back into the lineup with Bell gone, and he will have new help as well.
The Eagles also signed defensive end/linebacker Chris McCoy from the CFL after cutting Bell. He only had five sacks in two CFL seasons and has been on the practice squad of three NFL teams, yet Philadelphia signed him to a three-year contract anyway.
The mere fact that it wasn’t a five-year, $35 million deal, and that McCoy doesn’t have Bell’s baggage, seems to have made this a worthy risk. Of course, if Peters stays healthy and if the rest of the defensive line is more durable than it was in 2012, McCoy won’t be an issue at all. It will also help once the Eagles have a new defensive coordinator, but that position is still up in the air.