Report: Former Bears RB David Montgomery, Lions Agree to 3-Year, $18M Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMarch 15, 2023

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 24: David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

David Montgomery will reportedly suit up for a team other than the Chicago Bears for the first time in his NFL career.

The running back agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

ESPN's Adam Schefter noted the contract features $11 million in guarantees.

It seemed as if Montgomery and the Bears were headed in different directions when Chris Emma of 670 The Score reported in January that the Iowa State product "might seek $12 million annually" while the team "might be more inclined" to offer something in the $7 million annual range.

Emma noted Chicago is also "confident in the future of 24-year-old running back Khalil Herbert," which seemingly made Montgomery more expendable.

The Bears also entered the offseason with a number of needs after a 3-14 campaign, including at wide receiver, offensive line and in the pass-rush department. That made running back something of a lower priority, especially since the position is widely considered to be among the most replaceable when constructing a roster.

Yet Chicago's loss is Detroit's gain, as Montgomery has proved himself fairly effective since he was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft.

The physical back has been durable, never appearing in fewer than 13 games in each of his first four seasons. He also topped 1,000 yards on the ground with 1,070 rushing yards in 2020 and is someone who can contribute in the passing attack with an average of 38.8 catches per season.

Montgomery finished the 2022 season with 801 rushing yards, 316 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

His career 3.9 yards per carry leaves plenty to be desired, but he is still relatively young at 25 years old and can be counted on as a reliable option with more than 200 carries in each of his first four seasons.

That was enough to convince Detroit to add him to its running backs room.