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Jammal Brown option gone

Demetrius Bell's status as the Buffalo Bills' likely starting left tackle has survived another perceived threat. The Bills have insisted since before the draft - actually since before last year's draft - that they like Bell a lot. They showed it again by not making a big play for left tackle Jammal Brown, who has been on New Orleans' trading block all offseason. Brown, 29, a former first-round pick who made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2008, missed all of last season with a hernia and hip injury. The Saints won the Super Bowl anyway, in part because Drew Brees is so adept at avoiding sacks.

Washington acquired Brown on Saturday for a reasonable cost. In a conditional deal reported by ESPN, the Redskins will give the Saints a fourth-round pick in 2011 if Washington wins nine games, makes the playoffs or Donovan McNabb makes the Pro Bowl. If none of those things happen, the Saints get a third-round pick. The Saints will send the Redskins a late-round pick. So if the Bills really wanted Brown, they could have had him for a third-round pick (since theirs is likely to be sooner than the Redskins' pick).

What can we conclude from this? It reconfirms that Bills GM Buddy Nix really does not like to give up draft picks. (He built his career on the draft, after all.) And the Bills have a certain amount of faith in Bell. The Bills still have a way to get some insurance at left tackle, and it says here they should take advantage of it. Former Dallas tackle Flozell Adams remains a free agent. He's 35. Even if Bell plays great, it would be comforting to the Bills to have Adams in reserve.

---Mark Gaughan

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