The Detroit Lions made a splash in free agency last year by signing running back Reggie Bush. Detroit’s signing of running back Joique Bell prior to the start of free agency of Tuesday may not grab headlines, but it is the first important signing by first-year coach Jim Caldwell.
Bell agreed to a three-year deal contract extension worth $9.3 million ($4.3 million guaranteed), according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Joique Bell has agreed to 3-year, $9.3m extension w/ $4.3m guaranteed. That's more in gtd money, officially, then Lions have Reggie Bush
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 11, 2014
Bush received a four-year deal worth $16 million ($4 million signing bonus) as a free agent in 2013. Bell's contract reflects how much confidence the organization has in him.
Detroit placed a second-round tender on Bell, a restricted free agent, before free agency began, which gave him $2.187 million in 2014. There is a reason why Detroit was determined to retain Bell.
Last season, Bell rushed for 650 yards and eight touchdowns, plus had 53 passes for 547 yards. Bell has 1,064 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, and 1,032 receiving yards, over the past two seasons.
Bell, a former Wayne State standout, was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles (twice), Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints before he was signed by the Detroit Lions late in 2011.
The re-signing of Bell gives quarterback Matthew Stafford another solid weapon, which makes Detroit’s biggest offensive need a receiver who can take advantage of the attention Calvin Johnson receives.
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