Benton Harbor native and Wayne State graduate, Joique Bell wanted to remain a Detroit Lion and had no interest in playing for anyone else. Coming off of a breakout year in 2013, the Lions and Bell agreed to a three-year, $9.3 million contract Tuesday that includes $4.3 million in guaranteed money.
Bell was originally given a second-round tender worth $2.187 million before both sides came to an agreement. According to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com, Bell will play under the tender next season, which means he will earn the remaining $7 million in 2015 and 2016.
The 27-year old signed with Detroit near the end of the 2011 season after being released by four different teams in a matter of one year. Bell finished the 2013 campaign with 650 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 166 attempts. He also recorded 53 receptions for 547 receiving yards, paving the way for him and teammate Reggie Bush to become the first runningback tandem to finished with 500 yards rushing and receiving in a single season.
Bringing back Bell shows the commitment the Lions have in the former Division II player of the year and the desire to keep him in Detroit for long term. It also helps that the Lions still has a reliable and productive weapon on offense that’s determined to help them reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999.