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Joique Bell turned down pay cut to stay with Lions

The Detroit Lions cut Joique Bell last week, but apparently gave the running back a chance to stick around.

Bell told reporters on Saturday night that prior to his release the team offered him the chance to take a pay cut to remain in Detroit. The running back declined that option.

"The NFL is a crazy business," Bell said, per "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."

A local product from Wayne State University in Detroit, Bell boasts a magical story, going from undrafted free agent to reliable starter for his hometown team. He compiled 2,235 yards in his four-year run with the Lions, but averaged just 3.5 yards per carry on 90 totes in 2015.

"There's no bad blood between me and the Lions," Bell said. "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 was set to earn $2.5 million in 2016.

Turning 30 in August, the running back clearly lost a step after dealing with offseason surgeries last year. A power back with good pass-catching ability, Bell could be a low-level veteran backup for a team with a young lead rusher.

If all teams pass this spring, it sounds like Bell's stint with his hometown squad could be renewed -- at a much lower rate.

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