Joique Bell, a graduate of Wayne State who fought his way to a starting position in the NFL, was a fan favorite in the 2014 NFL season. However, as is the case often in the NFL, his performance could not be replicated in the next season and he did not have the prior body of work to support him. Complicated with a new regime and an unwillingness to restructure his contract, the Lions cut Joique Bell in February. However, as the offseason drags on through May, Bell still hopes that the Lions will have him back.
On Sunday, Joique Bell went on Detroit WXYZ's "Sports Cave" program and discussed his departure from the Detroit Lions and what future he might have in the NFL.
He told the hosts, "They called my agent, kinda saw it coming. They wanted to restructure my deal. I didn't feel comfortable making that decision at the time...we parted ways, amicably."
Midway into February, the Lions cut ties with Joique Bell, resolving to move forward with the running back corp without the Wayne State alum. Reports later surfaced that the Lions had approached Bell's camp about restructuring his contract (he would have earned $3.5 million in 2016), but Bell had reportedly turned that down. Bell has been a free agent since that day, with few reports of interested teams.
Since that time, there has been no reports of other teams offering Bell a contract, and the Lions have seemingly made moves that indicate they will be structuring their running back group without him.
Bell, however, seems somewhat hopeful that the Lions will take him back.
"I don't know if that deal is still on the table, but we'll see what happens," he said.
"If I do end up going back in the future, not saying it will happen, but I will catch on pretty quickly to the things that are going on there." Bell also said that while his agent had spoken with general manager Bob Quinn, the running back had not directly spoken with him.
It wouldn't be the first time he has spoken about a return to Detroit. Even back in the days following his departure from the team, Bell, a Michigan native, hoped that he would one day return to the Lions franchise.