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Joique Bell turned down pay cut to stay with Lions

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 27: Joique Bell #35 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game at Ford Field on December 27, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Lions released running back Joique Bell last week, but he says they offered him a chance to stick around before making the move.

Bell was set to make $2.5 million in salary during the 2016 season and was offered a chance to stay in Detroit at a lower number, but said he “ended up declining the offer” because he thought it was the best move for his career.

“There’s no bad blood between me and the Lions,” Bell said, via “They did what was best for the organization and I did what I thought was best for my family. You never know, I might end up back with the Lions, but I owe it to my family, I owe it to myself, I owe it to my hard work and dedication to test the market, so that’s what I’m doing.”

Bell had multiple surgeries last offseason and only got 90 carries in 13 games during the regular season. He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry on those touches, which isn’t the sort of production that guarantees a robust market so Bell’s decision might not work out all that well for a back turning 30 in August.

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16 Responses to “Joique Bell turned down pay cut to stay with Lions”
  1. picksixx says: Feb 21, 2016 9:47 AM

    2.5 sounds about right or even a deal for Bell. I’m surprised the Lions didn’t just keep him.

  2. jromback says: Feb 21, 2016 10:12 AM

    Bell was a 4th option at RB. Abdullah and Riddick will be the 1-2 punch with Zenner or a draft pick as a power back option. I’d rather take Bell’s 2.5mil and spend it on bringing Tyrunn Walker back or making a run at a LB or CB (please let’s not pass on Trumaine Johnson again). Probably need a WR too.

  3. touchdownelvis says: Feb 21, 2016 10:32 AM

    I don’t think that’s a wise move for Joique. There’s always a few backs in his situation where you get to October, injuries start hitting the guys who are still playing, and those names turn up as emergency options and you say “wow, they’re out of the league entirely?” but you realize that they’re 30, coming off an injury, more costly and with less upside than a rookie, and with no special teams value.

  4. suhmonster90 says: Feb 21, 2016 10:38 AM

    He should’ve taken the cut, he really didn’t make any plays last year. Most of the time he got the ball it was a wasted down.

  5. Peyton Needed the Slap Arm says: Feb 21, 2016 11:26 AM

    Good move by Detroit

    That guy was a bum of a running back.

  6. lion4ever26 says: Feb 21, 2016 11:38 AM

    He left because he knew he wouldnt make the team this year. Theo is going to be lights out this year and Zenner will be the broozer.

  7. intrafinesse says: Feb 21, 2016 12:21 PM

    Why take a pay cut to play in Detroit.
    Take a pay cut and go elsewhere.
    Unless he’s so bad that he won’t make an opening day roster.

  8. stoolerz says: Feb 21, 2016 12:29 PM

    A good agent would have taken the cut and guarantee the money. Lions fans are right, he probably wouldn’t have made the roster anyway

  9. footstepsfalco says: Feb 21, 2016 12:53 PM

    He wants to see whats out there, and if he can’t get the contract he likes (he won’t), then he wants a 1 year prove it deal somewhere he has a chance to touch the ball. Not happening in Detroit, too many young developing backs there.

  10. granadafan says: Feb 21, 2016 12:55 PM

    Why won’t these players honor the contract they signed??!!!! Oh wait…

  11. lingsun54 says: Feb 21, 2016 1:58 PM

    He’s the guy who could get the tough yards. Unfortunately he went from 1182 combined yards in 2014 to 597 last year. He still has value but not at his current salary.

  12. idhitdat says: Feb 21, 2016 2:15 PM

    Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones will double his salary.

  13. immafubared says: Feb 21, 2016 2:23 PM

    His agent probably convinced him he was worth a hole lot more. Ya right.

  14. whodey83 says: Feb 21, 2016 2:40 PM

    A 1 year prove it deal? Dude’s almost 30, the time for 1 year prove it deals has long come and gone.

  15. nclrbrt says: Feb 21, 2016 2:43 PM

    Teams sign players to contracts that the teams know they aren’t going to honor on the day they sign them. Somehow that just doesn’t strike me as being legal, and it’s certainly not honorable. But what do I know? I just believe when there’s a contract both parties have an obligation to honor the terms of said contract.

  16. metrocritical says: Feb 21, 2016 4:12 PM

    nclbrt knows nothing. Every NFL contract sets forth duration of contract, base salary, bonuses and any guaranteed money. One part of every contract is the possibility that the contract may be terminated. Hence, a team can honor the contract and cut a player in accordance with contract the player voluntarily signed. It’s very simple.

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