David Montgomery might have accidentally given some Chicago Bears fans heart palpitations on Wednesday afternoon, thanks to a misunderstood tweet that seemed to suggest the lead running back could be on his way out of town.
With trade rumors already swirling about Carson Wentz, Bears fans have been wondering — and worrying — about what current pieces general manager Ryan Pace might consider shipping out in a deal that would bring the Philadelphia Eagles’ star quarterback to Chicago.
Turns out, all Montgomery needed to do to inadvertently dump fuel on the fire was tweet out a positive message about the city … in the past tense.
“Playing in Chicago has been fun and I met some great people along the way!!” Montgomery wrote in a since-deleted tweet, clarifying his intended message with a follow-up tweet after fans on Twitter began panicking.
Y’all took that completely wrong! It was not intended in the purpose of football! HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BALL! I love Chicago and I’m ready to be here for a long time and win a lot of games 🤦🏾♂️‼️
— David Montgomery (@MontgomerDavid) February 10, 2021
ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!
Montgomery’s Value Too High to Ditch
Montgomery has been one of the Bears’ most reliable weapons since they landed him in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, amassing 1,959 rushing yards, 623 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns over his first two seasons in Chicago. He has also shown steady improvements each year, running past the 1,000-yard mark in his most recent outing with more than half of his yardage gained after contact.
Needless to say, it would be a huge surprise if Pace decided to package his young running back in a deal meant to fix the Bears’ offensive woes. Yes, Montgomery could theoretically return some great value as an accomplished back with two years left on his rookie contract, but that is also exactly why a win-now Chicago squad can’t afford to consider giving him up for anything less than a bonafide superstar.
Montgomery is currently set to carry a $1.11 million cap hit through the 2021 season, chump change for an effective running back in today’s high-priced market. The day will come when the Bears will have to decide if Montgomery is worth signing to a larger-value second contract but likely not until at least 2022.
What Offensive Weapons Will Return for Bears?
The Bears need a quarterback, that much is certain, but they also need to determine which offensive weapons they want back for the 2021 season.
Allen Robinson, Chicago’s top wide receiver, is set to become an unrestricted free agent next month and projected to earn as much as $20 million annually (per Spotrac) on his next contract. Fellow wideouts Anthony Miller and Javon Wims are each cut/trade candidates after unspectacular 2020 outputs. Even veteran tight end Jimmy Graham could be on the chopping block with the Bears standing to save $7 million by releasing him.
There are also lingering questions about Tarik Cohen, who signed a three-year, $17.25 million contract extension in September but is coming off a season-ending ACL injury. He is now three seasons removed from his 2018 All-Pro season — in which he totaled 444 rushing yards, 725 receiving yards and eight touchdowns — and has never completely found his stride as a complement to Montgomery. If there are any delays in his recovery, it could cause the Bears some problems early in 2021.