The Chicago Bears wrapped their 2022 season, where they finished 3-14 and lost their final 10 games of the year. But the future is bright heading into this 2023 offseason, as GM Ryan Poles has the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, a boatload of salary cap space ($118 million) and a franchise quarterback in Justin Fields.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be counting down our 15 Most Impactful Bears for the 2022 season. We’ll recap their 2022 season and look ahead to how they factor into 2023.
At No. 12 is running back David Montgomery, the bruising running back for the Bears who provided stability at the position, even during a down season.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery speaks at a news conference in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Position: Running back
Experience: 4th year
2022 cap hit: $3,051,545
Oct 30, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) stiff arms Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55) as he runs for a first down during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
801 rushing yards
4.0 yards per attempt
5 rushing touchdowns
1 receiving touchdown
Oct 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) runs the ball during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Going into the 2022 season, Montgomery was arguably the most consistent player on offense. He’s a running back who won’t blow anyone away, but will almost always get the tough yards with his punishing running style. Montgomery contributed to the Bears’ historic rushing output in 2022, though he was the third-leading rusher behind quarterback Justin Fields (1,143) and running back Khalil Herbert (731).
Still, though he wasn’t as flashy as those other players, Montgomery was as steady as they come. He was depended on to pick up the short yards in crucial situations and was easily the best pass blocking back of the bunch. That alone made him a valued member of the offense, considering the offensive line had a tough time keeping Fields upright. Montgomery was also a key weapon out of the backfield, totaling the fourth-most receiving yards on the team.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 09: David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
The future is cloudy for the Bears and Montgomery in 2023. His rookie contract is up and even though the team has well over $100 million in cap space this offseason, his return is far from a guarantee. The old saying goes that NFL teams should not not pay top dollar for running backs in free agency, but the Bears could make an exception to that rule with players such as Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Jamaal Williams, and more hitting the market. Or they could opt to bring Montgomery back on a team-friendly deal, something that is very much on the table.
There does seem to be mutual interest in a reunion. Montgomery has expressed his desire to return and has become a team leader during his tenure. General manager Ryan Poles also stated his respect and admiration for Montgomery and that he would like him back next season. “I’ve always wanted to keep David,” Poles said. “I love his mentality, how he plays the game.”
Poles loves Montgomery, but said the value needs to be beneficial. “Now, the second part of that is just the contract situation,” Poles said. “That’s something that we’ll see how that goes and if we can find common ground. Obviously, I’ve learned that you can want a player and the value’s got to come together for it to happen.”
15 Most Impactful Bears of 2022
We’re counting down our 15 Most Impactful Bears of 2022. Check back every day.
12. RB David Montgomery
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