Running back Bell signs one-year deal with Lions, will compete for starting job

Updated: March 10, 2008, 1:49 PM ET
By John Clayton |

After losing a bidding war for halfback Julius Jones, the Detroit Lions went back to their own roster and re-signed Tatum Bell.

Tatum Bell


Bell, 26, agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million deal to stay with the Lions. He came to the Lions last season from the Broncos in a trade that included tackle George Foster. Foster agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million deal over the weekend.

With Kevin Jones coming off a torn ACL, Bell will be given the chance to start this season. He started four games for the Lions in 2007 and had 182 yards on 44 carries last year.

In his final season with the Broncos in 2006, Bell had 1,025 yards and a 4.4-yard average. On any given play, Bell has the ability to break a long run because he has great speed and elusiveness.

If Bell has a great season, he is hoping to hit a big payday in 2009.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for

John Clayton

NFL senior writer