Now Bell will be with the Lions in the long term after signing a two-year extension on top of his restricted free-agent tender for 2014.
Bell's extension is worth $7 million and will include $4.3 million in guaranteed money, a source confirmed to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan.
A native of Benton Harbor, Mich., Bell wanted to be with the Lions for more than the one-year restricted free-agent tender he was given Tuesday. He will play the 2014 season under the $2.187 million tender, then the two-year deal will kick in.
In total, Bell's new deals -- the tender and the extension -- will be worth a little more than $9 million over three years.
Bell and Reggie Bush combined to become the first tandem of running backs in league history to have 500 yards rushing and 500 receiving in a season.
The 27-year-old Bell had 166 carries for 650 yards and eight touchdowns along with 547 yards receiving in 2013. He has been with the Lions the past three seasons after stints with New Orleans, Philadelphia and Indianapolis.
Bell also became active in the Detroit community and spent his college career at Wayne State in Detroit, where he became the Harlon Hill Trophy winner for the Division II player of the year in 2010.