Running back Joique Bell was released by the Lions on Tuesday after five seasons with the club, but he was offered a chance to stay in Detroit before he was cut, as Bell himself told reporters, including Justin Rogers of MLive.com.
“The NFL is a crazy business,” said Bell. “You never know. The Lions made me an offer. I thought I did what was best for my career. I ended up declining the offer.”
The 29-year-old Bell didn’t elaborate as to the details of the Lions proposal, but it likely would have included a paycut. Bell was entering the final year of an extension he signed prior to the 2014 season, and was due to earn a base salary of $2.5MM and count for $3.5MM against the salary cap. Detroit cleared out that $2.5MM from its 2016 books, and is now set to enter the offseason with about $26MM in cap space.
Bell saw time in 13 games last season, rushing for 311 yards off of 90 carries with four touchdowns. He also produced as a pass-catching back, hauling in 22 receptions for 286 yards. Bell has been an important part of the Lions’ backfield rotation since 2013, but the club — pending other additions — will move forward with incumbents Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner.
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