Rudi Johnson’s free agent deal with the Lions gave the team a solid backup for rookie RB Kevin Smith, made me reconsider drafting him in not one but two fantasy leagues (I’m one of the professional cranks mentioned here), and ensured the end of the supremely un-memorable Tatum Bell era in Detroit.

This was no doubt very painful for Tatum, who lost his (inevitably) non-guaranteed contract but is also a guy who just wants to go out there and run around and then get tackled really hard for a loss by other guys who then throw a bunch of punches and nod hysterically after tackling him. Tatum just wants to have fun out there; that’s how he has fun, getting tackled. That’s not a crime. And if averaging 3.4 YPC becomes a crime, too, then fine…you might as well lock up everyone who’ll carry the ball for the Seahawks this year, too.

However, stealing shit is actually non-metaphorically illegal. Pro Football Talk reports on Bell’s life of (extraordinarily) petty crime:

We’re told by a reliable source (that) Johnson left his bags outside CEO Matt Millen™s office while he met with team officials and, ultimately, worked out a deal with the team. (But) when Johnson came back to get his bags, they were nowhere to be found. Johnson and Millen were stumped.

Enter the eye in the sky.

The team checked the videotapes generated by the team™s in-house surveillance system, and they quickly identified the culprit. So who might it have been? None other than Tatum Bell, who lost his gig with the Lions after Rudi arrived.

Per the source, Bell took the bags to the house of a female acquaintance. When confronted on the matter, Bell offered up some cockamamie story that he thought the bags belonged to someone he knew. The girl, however, said that she hadn™t seen Bell in several months and he showed up out of the blue and asked her to keep the bags for a while.

Johnson has retrieved the bags, and it™s our understanding that charges won™t be pressed. Tatum apparently didn™t know that he was being monitored.

Thanks to Matthew Mills for the link.