The Detroit Lions are keeping running back Joique Bell on the roster for a while, because according to various reports, Joique Bell has signed a two-year extension, worth $7 million, with $4.3 million guaranteed with the Detroit Lions. If you add that extension with the second-round restricted free agent tender the Lions placed on him, you will see that he is actually is signed in Detroit for three seasons at $9.3 million. In short, this is a good move for the Lions and it’s great for the hometown kid, Joique Bell.
Honestly, this move is not surprising, the Benton Harbor, Mich. native, made it very clear early in the off-season, that he wanted to stay in Detroit remain a member of the Lions organization and I must say I am happy that he is staying and I’m sure other Lions fans are too.
The Former Wayne State Warrior and Harlon Hill Trophy winner had a break-out season last year, where he rushed for 650 yards on 166 carries while working in tandem with Reggie Bush last season. Due to their great tandem, Bell and Bush combined to become the first tandem of running backs in league history to both have 500 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.
While many people still look at Bush as the main guy in the backfield, I personally look at Bell as the main guy. When you’re talking about Bell, you’re talking about a tough runner who can create between the tackles. He may not have lightning quick speed but he has great burst then if you add that with his good vision, power and agility, Bell is truly a force no matter where he is on the field. Most importantly, he represents what you want in a running back, which is someone who runs with heart and passion. He doesn’t dance around in the backfield, he runs right at defenders and if needed, he uses his athleticism and leaps over defenders occasionally.
I believe the most underrated aspect of his game is the fact that he is a very good receiver out of the backfield. When I say he is a good receiver out of the backfield, I’m not just talking about his good hands, I’m talking about his ability to make things happen after the catch. Many forget the fact that Bell earned 564 yards receiving yards last season, while those stats may not jump out at you it was still good enough for him to be ranked fourth in yards after the catch last season.
Overall, this a good move for the Lions team. On the offensive side of the ball, it helps to make the Lions more secure when it comes to the run game. Since the Lions have new offensive coordinator this season in Joe Lombardi, I expect to see Bell’s workload increase for the 2014 season, especially since he is so versatile. Then as a whole, the Lions get to keep a great hometown kid who works hard to help his team and is very active in the city of Detroit and it’s because of that fact that I believe Bell could eventually grow to be more than just a good player for this team but a possible leader for this team on and off the field.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit