Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell had a really nice breakout season in 2013, and he and Reggie Bush formed one of the league’s best running back duos, especially when it comes to all-purpose ability. Not only did Bush and Bell generate plenty of yards on the ground behind one of the league’s best and most underrated lines, but they also helped out Matthew Stafford directly by catching plenty of passes out of the backfield. Bell finished the season with career-highs in just about every stat, but he especially made big strides as a rusher by taking on more short-yardage assignments en route to eight rushing touchdowns.
Bell is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, and the Lions will have to stop other teams from trying to poach him. The organization seems to be very high on him, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise given his production this past season. He ran for 650 yards and caught 53 passes for an additional 547. Bell has the talent, endurance, power, and pass-catching ability to be a workhorse, all-purpose back for another team. I’m sure there are teams that covet him as a three-down, feature back, and the Lions will have to protect him accordingly.
Lions official site beat writer Tim Twentyman believes that the team will do just that, as he projects the team to give Joique Bell a second-round tender that would be worth $2-3 million. The 27-year-old is only going to be more productive in the future, and Martin Mayhew and the Lions organization are clearly high on Bell’s ability to do just about everything well in the offense. He’s clearly one of their better players, and if he were tendered at even a third-round pick, I think a team would try to lure him away.