Why Chicago Bears may be able to re-sign David Montgomery
Before the Chicago Bears season started it was looking unlikely that David Montgomery was in the long-term plans. Ryan Poles has talked highly of Montgomery, but he was entering the season on the last year of his rookie salary. It was hard to see Poles paying up for Montgomery, who he did not draft, and may be paying for the downside of his career.
However, thw play of Montgomery, his role in the offense, and the running back market as a whole may end up keeping Montgomery in Chicago.
Why Chicago Bears may re-sign David Montgomery
When we initially projected a salary for Montgomery about 10 months ago, we saw a 4-year, $50M deal coming his way. That may have been too high for Poles, but it was in line with the market.
Montgomery has not quite had the year to live up to those numbers and may be best in a split backfield. However, what will suppress his salary more than that is the other running backs on the market. Check out the options below.
The reality is that this will make it an awful year for RBs trying to get paid. Every team will balk at the top offer and point to this list of running backs hitting the market that they could add. Then, there is the NFL draft.
Lastly, when you look at running back salaries, they are not getting paid on the market. Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb, Derrick Henry, Davin Cook Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffery are the only backs making over $10M per year. All of them were signed by the team that drafted them.
James Conner is the highest-paid running back to test free agency, and he is making just $7M per. If Montgomery hits free agency, there are not going to be teams lining up to give him more than $10M.
When you combine that, the market has to get suppressed, and some running backs may take one or two-year deals at reduced rates to cash in later on.
Spotrac has Montgomery projected for $9M per year on a three-year deal. That is much more reasonable than $12M per on a four-year deal, and all of a sudden that price may have Poles wondering if he can bring Montgomery back.
When you look at it, it is more than Conner got, and probably more than he would get on the market this offseason. Still, it is not an outrageous price tag for a running back. It allows them to keep him on the short term without hindering their cap, and at least makes it a tougher decision for Poles.
Will we see David Montgomery on the Chicago Bears next year?