The Lions have signed running back David Montgomery, apparently spelling the end for fan favorite Jamaal Williams. Jan 1, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (30) celebrates his touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are apparently determined to let popular running back Jamaal Williams escape in free agency.

According to ESPN’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions have signed former Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the deal at three years and $18 million.

The 25-year-old Montgomery spent four seasons with the Bears, averaging 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scoring 30 total touchdowns. He’s a workhorse running back who has only missed six games to injury in his career.

Montgomery’s signing likely means the end of Williams’ time in Detroit. Williams was one of the biggest surprises in the NFL last season, rushing for 1,066 yards and scoring a Lions-record 17 touchdowns. Williams, a free agent, had said he wanted to return to Detroit, but the two sides were reportedly far apart in contract negotiations.

Montgomery will complement 2020 second-round pick D’Andre Swift, who was explosive last season (5.5 yards per carry) but also battled injuries much of the year.

Many Lions fans were disappointed that the Lions are cutting ties with Williams.

[Tom Pelissero, NFL Network]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.