The Chicago Bears boast the NFL’s second-best rushing in terms of total yards. But their current situation – they are 2-4 following a loss to the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football – has some urging them to begin the selloff. They have the second-toughest remaining schedule, per Tankathon.com, and have looked listless on offense more often than not.
Their defense has gone from promising to concerning. Teams have alternated between picking on the young corners and running it right down the Bears’ throats.
Chicago ranks 28th against the run and has the worst pass rush, per Pro Football Focus.
All of this could mean that things get much worse for Justin Fields and Co. before it gets better. And that could lead general manager Ryan Poles to make some tough decisions as his focus shifts toward 2023 and away from David Montgomery.
Proposed Trade Sends Bears’ David Montgomery to AFC Title Hopeful
Montgomery for a 5th Rd Pick?
“In a year in which the Bears are cleaning up their cap and beginning their latest rebuild,” asserts ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, “Montgomery probably belongs elsewhere. He is a free agent after this season, and the people who drafted him no longer work for the organization. Khalil Herbert also has excelled in Montgomery’s absence and deserves a larger role.”
With that in mind, Barnwell proposes the Bears send the former Iowa State Cyclone to the East Coast and the Baltimore Ravens’ rushing attack led by quarterback Lamar Jackson.
- 2023 5th-Round Pick
- David Montgomery
Montgomery was drafted with the 73rd overall pick in 2019 by former Bears general manager Ryan Pace.
He has 3054 career rushing yards in 49 career games with 40 starts making him the eighth back in Bears’ franchise history to surpass the 3000-yard mark on the ground in his first four seasons and he still has 11 games to go this season.
However, to Barnwell’s point, Herbert has outrushed Montgomery to this point of the season.
Herbert – a sixth-round pick by Pace last year – has 403 rushing yards to Montgomery’s 246 on just one more carry.
He’s also got three touchdowns to Montgomery’s one.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) October 10, 2022
“With the Bears likely to shop in free agency next offseason,” Barnwell continues, “they probably will not be in position to gain a compensatory pick for Montgomery when he leaves. The same isn’t true for the Ravens, who typically mine the league’s compensatory formula for all it’s worth. It’s not clear whether the Ravens trust J.K. Dobbins right now, given that his snap percentage dropped between Week 4 and Week 5. And Kenyan Drake has been dismal as the team’s veteran back, while Justice Hill hasn’t been able to stay healthy.”
Dobbins missed Sunday’s tilt versus the New York Giants after his knee “tightened up”, per his head coach, John Harbaugh.
Drake filled in admirably but the Ravens’ backfield has been inconsistent this season.
“The Ravens renting Montgomery for the rest of the season would probably net them a sixth- or seventh-round compensatory pick in 2024.”
Bears, David Montgomery in Tough Spot
While it is true that Herbert has been the more efficient runner, much of that has come as a change-up to Montgomery. Herbert drew his lone start this season in Week 4 versus the New York Giants after Montgomery suffered leg injuries against the Houston Texans.
The former produced his second-worst yards-per-carry mark of the campaign.
Montgomery is also the superior pass-protector – typically a big factor for coaches – and receiver out of the backfield.
It has become taboo to pay running backs exorbitant contracts. The Bears might also feel they are better off with him if a more generous return fails to present itself. That puts the Bears and Montgomery in an interesting position because it is still very much in vogue to pay for leadership and Montgomery has been that.
Embed from Getty Images