The Chicago Bears announced this afternoon that running back Kahlil Bell has signed his restricted free agent tender. It’s a one-year, low-level tender that will pay him $1.26 million next year.
Bell made the announcement on his Twitter page shortly before the team made it official.
“Just re-sign with the Bears today going on year number 4!!! God is so great Now it's time to get to work. Blessed beyond belief!!!”
RB Kahlil Bell
Jerry Lai/US Presswire
The low tender would not have given Chicago any draft-pick compensation had another team decided to sign Bell this offseason. Yet no team offered him a contract and Bell had no options but to re-sign or holdout.
Bell has appeared in 20 games with three starts during three seasons with the Bears compiling 557 rushing yards on 119 carries (4.7 ypc) while adding 20 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Bell is a hard runner with decent hands. He’s a valuable special teams player and has shown he’s capable of handling the load as a ball carrier.
In 2011, Bell had 337 rushing yards on 79 carries (4.3 ypc) and 133 receiving yards with a touchdown on 19 receptions (7.0 ypr). Over the final three weeks of the season, Bell had 240 rushing yards, 11th most in the NFL during that span.
Yet he fumbled three times in the club’s final two contests, which is a concern going forward.
He’ll likely serve as Chicago’s third back, behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush – assuming Forte plays next season – giving the Bears arguably the best trio of ball carriers in the NFL.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.