clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Lions signing RB David Montgomery to 3-year, $18M contract

The Detroit Lions have added one of the top running backs on the free agency market in David Montgomery

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are making a big change at running back.

According to a report from NFL Network, the Lions are signing former Bears running back David Montgomery to a three-year deal worth $18 million with a reported $11 million in guarantees.

Montgomery will almost certainly take the place of Jamaal Williams, who had a career year with the Lions in 2022. Williams surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time and set a franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns. However, it appears the Lions and Williams hit a snag with negotiations despite the fact that there was mutual interest in a return. According to the latest report from Tyler Dunne, the two sides were “far apart” on agreeing on a deal and were slowed by the running back market's lack of activity.

That said, the Lions now have a pretty talented back in Montgomery. Drafted 73rd overall in the 2019 NFL draft, Montgomery was a 51-game starter for the Bears over the past four years. He’s just 25 years old and has had at least 800 rushing yards in each of his first four seasons in the NFL. He has started a total of 51 games for the Chicago Bears, rushing for 3,609 yards on 915 carries. While his career yards per carry average is just 3.9, he’s a physical runner who was once fifth in the NFL in rushing yards after contact back in 2020.

One of the most promising traits Montgomery possesses is his ability to run hard, yet work through injuries. When he does suffer the occasional injury, he is quick to rebound and return to action. For a running backs room that has dealt with the injury bug for years now, having a durable option is a potential advantage.

It’s a tough goodbye to such an important and entertaining player like Williams, but this is a strong investment in a gritty, physical, three-down running back.

Track all of the Lions free agency moves here and you can see all the latest rumors here.

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.