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Lions Officially Sign Rudi Johnson, Release Tatum Bell


The Lions have officially announced the signing of running back Rudi Johnson. Johnson is already second on the Lions' depth chart behind Kevin Smith and ahead of Marcus Thomas.

To make room on the roster for Johnson, the Lions released Tatum Bell. This move was expected when news came out that Johnson had signed, so no surprise there. Bell was on the Lions last season and was inactive for every game once Kevin Jones came back full time from his injury. Bell was going to find a new team in the offseason, but since Mike Martz was fired he opted to return to Detroit, especially once the Lions said they were going to run the ball more.

Although Rudi Johnson may not be in the prime of his career anymore, I do like this move. Tatum Bell didn't have a great preseason by any means and I do believe that Johnson is an upgrade. He will be able to come in as Kevin Smith's backup, and if something happens that prevents Smith from starting, Johnson isn't a bad insurance policy if he can stay healthy.

For a look at the type of player Johnson is, as well as why his numbers have gone down recently, check out the scouting report I posted earlier today.