The first domino has fallen in the NFL trade deadline. Could the Bears and David Montgomery end up in the final mix?
The NFL trade deadline isn’t traditionally one that is filled with blockbuster deals. Between the salary cap ramifications of trading players, teams generally overvaluing their future draft slots, and the time in the season of the trade deadline, there’s usually not much action. The league has pushed to change that in recent seasons and the most recent move might be the one the league has been hoping for.
Late Thursday night, while many eyes were watching the Cardinals handle the Saints, the Panthers made a blockbuster deal sending star running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers for a slew of draft picks. San Francisco wasn’t the only team interested in McCaffrey, either.
Reportedly, the Rams were in the market for McCaffrey as well. Los Angeles is averaging just over 70 yards a game on the ground this season and the coaching staff may be ready to move on from current running back Cam Akers. The Rams have been known to play fast and loose with future draft capital, as well. The Bears may have the perfect consolation prize in David Montgomery.
Does A David Montgomery Trade Make Sense?
In order to have trade deadline moves, there need to be teams in obvious positions to buy and, more importantly, teams in obvious positions to sell. With the Bears currently on a three-game losing streak and a brutal remaining schedule, the Bears should easily fall into that latter category. In fact, Montgomery isn’t the only Bear that could be on the trade block.
David Montgomery is currently in the final year of his rookie contract. While he’s been a capable back and a fan favorite during his four years in Chicago, the team isn’t pushing to do an extension by the end of this season. Couple that with Khalil Herbert’s success this season, Herbert currently leads the Bears in rushing yards and has a better yards-per-carry average than Montgomery. All of that has a David Montgomery trade making more and more sense. As general manager Ryan Poles continues this rebuild, he can’t afford to lose a quality player like Montgomery in free agency without getting something more than a 2024 compensatory pick in return.
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Does David Montgomery To The Rams Make Sense?
The defending champions are in an awkward spot while on the bye this week. Entering play Sunday, the Rams sit tied with both the 49ers and the Seahawks for first place in the NFC West, with the Cardinals just half a game back. General manager Les Snead has to be feeling a bit burned that not only did he finish second in the McCaffrey trade, but he also finished second to a division rival in San Francisco. It’s easy to see how Snead and head coach Sean McVay could feel they need to answer the 49ers trade with one of their own.
The Rams are dealing with multiple injuries to their offensive line, which has caused problems with their offense as a whole. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has not had as much time to throw, and running backs Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. have not had success running the ball. Through six weeks, neither Los Angeles back has eclipsed 200 yards on the season.
David Montgomery has 246 rushing yards in five games this season. He’s also averaging 4.0 yards per carry and he’s doing this behind arguably a worse offensive line than the one in Los Angeles. He’s also capable as a receiver out of the backfield, something that Sean McVay will surely enjoy with his play and formation design. Former Bears teammates Allen Robinson II and Leonard Floyd could also make Montgomery feel more at home and gel with his new team and teammates faster.
What Is David Montgomery Worth In A Trade?
This is always the trickiest part, figuring out the compensation. The 49ers gave up four draft picks, including 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks in 2023 and a 5th round selection in 2024, to acquire McCaffrey. While Montgomery certainly isn’t in that range, a 4th round selection doesn’t sound outrageous in return.
The Rams, however, don’t have many picks to choose from to offer up in a deal. Los Angeles doesn’t have a draft pick until the 3rd round thanks to previous deals and only has six picks total in the 2023 draft. Would the Rams be willing to sacrifice one of their top two remaining draft spots in order to help their team this year? Les Snead’s track record would say yes, but only time will tell. Financials could also make this a tougher deal to work out as both teams are close to their salary cap ceilings.
Ultimately, David Montgomery is a talented football player that would certainly help any team he is on. Ryan Poles is still evaluating what players he wants to build this Bears team around going forward. If Montgomery is not going to be on that list, it would benefit both Montgomery and the Bears to move him ahead of the November 1st NFL trade deadline. That being said, the clock is ticking on what decision the Bears or even the Rams will make.
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