When there’s a glaring need, there’s also glaring desperation. Like much of the league, the Eagles were seemingly done with free agency a week ago, and were content to turn their attention to the draft. Then a tear happened, specifically a tear to a muscle located in Jason Peters’ leg.

And then they were shopping again, and that frantic search for a replacement ended today when the Eagles signed Demetrius Bell to a five-year contract. Bell fills an obvious hole and was pursued because of the pressing need for insurance at left tackle with Peters gone. But the amount of insurance he’ll actually provide could be somewhere far below the standard of coverage State Farm gives when you combine your house and car…literally.

Bell will slide in at left tackle and fill that gaping void created by Peters’ injury on an offensive line that left Michael Vick limping and spinning often last year. But while he’s doing that, the Eagles’ brass will be clutching lucky rabbit’s feet and silver dollars. Bell is athletic and mobile for a man of his size (307 pounds), but it’s not promising when your injury fill-in has already missed 17 games in his three-year career.

That’s the consequence of desperation and an injury that ocurred after the first wave of free agency. The Eagles were forced to replace a four-time All Pro and a vital piece of their offensive line with a severely injury-prone lineman who’s made it through just one full season.

The monetary terms of the deal haven’t surfaced yet, but given his injury history and his status as an injury replacement, Bell’s contract will surely be front-end loaded. The official press release from the Eagles also clarified that Bell’s first name is actually spelled “Demetress,” and somehow no one thought to correct this for three years. Or maybe he randomly changed the spelling, which is equally weird.

The Eagles and/or Bell could have told us anything, and we’d believe it. Three years from now if he’s still in the league it’ll change to “Demyartras.”

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