What would a David Montgomery contract look like with Chicago Bears?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears have a very tough decision to make when it comes to David Montgomery. Of course, they want him back, but like any facet of life, it comes at a price. It is not like the team needs a running back that badly, and they do not want to overpay or be stuck with the bad end of a long deal.

So, what would be the right price for David Montgomery? One thing that is fascinating to view is the gap in running back salaries. You have James Conner and Leonard Fourtnette who recently signed for about $7M per year. Then, you have Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, and Aaron Jones, all three signing for $12M per year.

The gap between $7M and $12M is rather big, and with no in-between, it feels like the Wild West. Below you can see how Montgomery compares to these backs since he entered the NFL in 2019.

Totals Table
1Nick Chubb435910185345405.39984128.5
2David Montgomery30609153609263.9155124048.0
3Joe Mixon29528993584284.0158118097.5
4Aaron Jones47628214108315.02071615167.8
5Leonard Fournette31587312999204.1254173256.8
6James Conner24516702719324.1152114177.5

He certainly is not on the Nick Chubb level, and when you look at Aaron Jones’s receiving yards per carry, Montgomery will likely not be in their tier of salary. Mixon may be a bit overpaid, but the other two are clearly better.

Still, Montgomery has shown more durability, similar receiving game value, and a few more yards than guys like Fournette and Conner. He should be in the middle of this $5M gap.

This gap is going to see a few salaries in the middle by this time next year. That is because the 2019 draft class featured six running backs who will all be getting deals in that $7M o $12M range. Below you can see how Montgomery compares to Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Damien Harris, Tony Pollard, and Devin Singletary. All of these backs are free agents and from his draft class.

Totals Table
1Damien Harris20192022164492094204.74028107.0
2Josh Jacobs201920223810724740404.4160115207.2
3David Montgomery20192022309153609263.9155124048.0
4Tony Pollard20192022265102616175.1121100858.3
5Miles Sanders20192022317393708205.012494237.6
6Devin Singletary20192022306723151164.714597146.7

Montgomery is second in carries, but third in yards. He is second in TDs but worst in yards per attempt. He is second in receptions and TDs, but first in receiving yards.

You can see that Josh Jacobs will make more than David Montgomery. Miles Sanders and Montgomery will make similar money, and they both should make more than Harris, Pollard, and Singletary. Still, even those three should top the $7M deals that Conner and Fournette got, so this makes it complicated.

Montgomery would be smart to wait until at least one of these backs got signed, then come in a little over the top. Or, he could wait until Josh Jacobs gets signed, and come in at a touch below.

Next. 5 Bears who will not be back next season. dark

At this point, he seems like he would be right in between.

Would a three-year deal $28.5M deal ($9.5 AAV) with something like $13 in guarantees get the job done? That is about as close to the middle of all of these deals as you can get.