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.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2023
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.
“DON’T LET THESE TEARS FOOL YOU, IT’S ALL DAWG AROUND THIS MUG.”
— Tony Dombrowski (@tonydombrowski) March 15, 2023
If this was Jamaal Williams's last recorded act in a Lions uniform, it was a beautiful way to go out https://t.co/5BJHfJOgVC
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) March 15, 2023
David Montgomery to the Bears twice a season pic.twitter.com/FR9Xw0mGr0
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) March 15, 2023
Realizing this will be the end of Jamaal as a Lion pic.twitter.com/j8vp9pDt3q
— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) March 15, 2023
Jamaal Williams was born to be a Detroit Lion. I’ll miss you forever pic.twitter.com/isJdV9cp3K
— Jack Willia〽️s (@jackwilly83) March 15, 2023
And the they released the real heart and soul of their team. How very Lion.
— John Freeman (@jfreeman72) March 15, 2023