Benton Harbor native Bell signs $9 million deal with Detroit Lions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The Detroit Lions achieved one of their top goals this offseason by retaining running back Joique Bell.

The Lions and the Benton Harbor native agreed to a $9.3 million, three-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person, who said $4.3 million of the contract is guaranteed, spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

The Benton Harbor, Mich., native has found a home with the Lions, who signed him off New Orleans' practice squad late in the 2011 season after he bounced around with the Saints, Eagles, Colts and Bills.

"Benton Harbor raised me and Detroit made me," Bell said Wednesday.

Bell had a team-high eight touchdowns rushing last season. He was second to Reggie Bush with 166 carries for 650 yards rushing for the Lions last year. Bell ranked third on the team in each of the last two seasons in Detroit with a combined 105 receptions for 1,032 yards.

While Bush gives Detroit a speedy and shifty threat out of the backfield, the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Bell provides much-needed power.

He has run for 1,064 yards — 4.3 yards per carry — and 11 TDs in two seasons with the Lions. The undrafted free agent from Wayne State University in Detroit played a total of eight games as a rookie in 2010 with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.


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