Detroit's Joique Bell was almost a Patriot, twice
Playing a complimentary role to Reggie Bush, Bell has has plenty of his own shining moments. He's rushed for over 400 yards so far, including six touchdowns.
Bell has bounced around the league quite a bit since entering the league as an undrafted free-agent in 2010. He's been with the Colts, Saints, Eagles and now, the Lions. So, why are we talking about a Detroit runningback? Well, because he was almost a Patriot too.
MLive.com's Kyle Meinke spoke with Bell, and his story revealed that he was not only almost a Patriot a couple times, but also how five minutes can drastically change the direction of a team and a player's career.
But his path to this point has been tortuous, passing through six cities in the first 20 months of his career. A career that had a false start.
Bell revealed this week that after he went undrafted out of Wayne State in 2010, New England coach Bill Belichick called him with a contract offer.
"That sounds great," Bell responded. "Let me talk to my agent for 5 minutes."
"Hurry up," Belichick replied.
Bell quickly talked it over with his agent, then called Belichick back a couple minutes later. No answer.
Called again about a minute later. No answer.
"Finally got in contact with him," Bell said. "They had signed another running back. And I was hot."
Welcome to the NFL, kid.
That wasn't the only time Bell thought he was headed to New England though. After a first stint with Philadelphia, Bell thought he was going to become a Patriot again. That didn't happen though as again, a quick phone call and some perfect timing changed everything.
Bell's story is well-documented at this point, though he provided one new wrinkle this week: He said before he returned to Philadelphia the second time, he nearly landed with the Patriots.
It's possible he never would have ended up in a Lions uniform had that happened.
"I was 5 seconds away from checking into the airport and going to the Patriots," Bell said. "I was at the airport, and we were trying to contact the GM for Philly, and he was at an event and he couldn't answer. I was at the airport, I was the next person in line at the counter and as soon as I got up to the counter, about to pass them my ID, I got a call from the GM.
"He called at the perfect time, and I told him where I was at. He pleaded with me to stick with him, give him a couple days to make some moves, to make some things happen and I told him, 'OK.' I wanted to go to that organization."