In recent years, a select number of running backs have received sizeable second contracts. Given his performances early in his career, and his importance to the Bears’ offense, David Montgomery could be the next in line for a new deal.
The 25-year-old had a productive college career at Iowa State. In his final two years in particular, he took on a heavy workload, ranking second and first in the Big 12 in carries in 2017 and 2018, respectively. He put up similar numbers across his sophomore and junior campaigns, totalling 2,362 rushing yards, an additional 453 yards through the air and 24 touchdowns.
That production made him one of the highest-rated backs in the 2019 draft class. He was firmly on Chicago’s radar, and the Bears traded up to N0. 73 to select him. As a result of the Khalil Mack trade, Montgomery represented the team’s top pick that year, something which heightened expectations as he entered the league. During that offseason, the Bears traded away Jordan Howard and signed Mike Davis, teaming the veteran with Tarik Cohen.
Montgomery spent his rookie season splitting snaps with latter in particular. He was still able to start eight games and total over 1,000 scrimmage yards, however. That made it an easy transition for him to take over as a workhorse back in 2020, when Cohen began experiencing the injury troubles which limited him to three games that year, and cost him the entire 2021 campaign. Montgomery had the best season of his career to date, ranking fifth in the NFL with 1,070 rushing yards.
Having demonstrated his abilities both on the ground and in the passing game, expectations were once again high for the five-foot-eleven, 224-pounder heading into 2021. The Bears’ offense still featured Allen Robinson and was in line for a significant change at quarterback, with the team having drafted Justin Fields. Those two never generated the chemistry many were expecting, though, leaving Montgomery as the team’s top offensive…