Chicago Bears News: What David Montgomery will likely demand in free agency
This past season, the Chicago Bears finished as the NFL’s number one rushing attack, led by a trio of Justin Fields, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert.
Despite not having much of a passing offense, the Bears were downright lethal on the ground. Going into next season, however, the back field could look much different.
For four seasons now, Montgomery has become a fan favorite and the primary workhorse for the Bears’ run game. This spring, however, his contract is up and Montgomery enters free agency for the first time as a pro.
Many fans would love to see Montgomery back in Chicago, but running backs are rarely paid substantial money anymore. It’s a position that’s become replaceable, and that’s exactly what the Bears could do with Herbert waiting in the wing — replace Montgomery.
What could David Montgomery ask for in free agency from the Chicago Bears?
In a recent column, Bears insider Chris Emma gave us some insight as to what Montgomery might ask for in free agency.
“Montgomery might seek $12 million annually, which is what running backs Aaron Jones (Packers) and Joe Mixon (Bengals) receive from their teams. That figure is tied for the seventh-highest annual salary for a running back.
“It would be a reasonable request from Montgomery, though the Bears might be more inclined to want to pay something like the $7 million annually that Leonard Fournette (Buccaneers) and James Conner (Cardinals) make. Those two running backs pull in the ninth-highest salaries at their position,” Emma wrote.
A salary of $12 million definitely seems steep, and it is by comparison. As Emma pointed out, Montgomery would be making the same as Jones and Mixon.
On the other hand, the Bears enter this offseason with the most cap space of any team in the league and could easily give Montgomery that kind of money. Maybe, the Bears front load his new deal and guarantee a good chunk over his first two years of the contract.
That way, the Bears can still afford plenty of other free agent talent and also not necessarily be tied down to Montgomery’s contract longer than two years at the very least.
Regardless, Montgomery just seems like a player you hang onto, keeping the best part of this team intact and the chemistry there. Hopefully for both sides’ sake, the Bears and Montgomery can get a deal done.