Just hours before the start of NFL free agency, the Detroit Lions and running back Joique Bell agreed to a contract extension. Bell was set to become a restricted free agent at 4 p.m. ET, but he has instead agreed to a new three-year deal worth $9.3 million, according to Dave Birkett. The deal includes $4.3 million in guaranteed money.
Before he agreed to this extension, the Lions decided to tender a contract to Bell at the second-round level. It would have been a one-year deal worth $2.187 million, and it would have given Bell the option to sign an offer sheet with another team. This extension is basically the second-round tender plus two additional years, and it takes away any possibility that Bell could land elsewhere in 2014.
Bell received this extension after having an excellent season in 2013. He rushed for 650 yards on 166 carries and scored 8 touchdowns on the ground. Also, he had 53 catches for 547 yards. Bell really added a lot to the Lions offense, and he served as an excellent complement to Reggie Bush at running back.
For Bell, this extension means that he will be staying with his hometown team for the foreseeable future. Bell is from Benton Harbor, Mich., and he played college football in Detroit at Wayne State. Now he's set to continue his NFL career in Detroit with the Lions for at least another three seasons.