The NFL free agency period has been full of surprises and drama, but one of the most intriguing stories involves the Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery. The former third-round pick had a breakout season in 2022, rushing for 1,312 yards and 12 touchdowns on 4.6 yards per carry. He also added 54 receptions for 438 yards and two more scores, proving to be a versatile and reliable weapon for the Lions offense. Montgomery was set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, meaning the Lions could have matched any offer sheet he received from another team. However, the Lions decided not to place a tender on him, making him an unrestricted free agent and allowing him to test the market. This was a surprising move, considering how well Montgomery played and how much he meant to the team. According to sources, two NFC North rivals were very interested in signing Montgomery: the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. Both teams were looking for an upgrade at the running back position, as they struggled to run the ball effectively in 2022. The Vikings ranked 25th in rushing yards per game (96.4) and 28th in yards per carry (3.8), while the Bears ranked 27th in both categories (94.9 and 3.8). Both teams also had issues with injuries and inconsistency at the position, as Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison missed time for the Vikings, and David Johnson and Tarik Cohen failed to impress for the Bears. Montgomery was seen as a perfect fit for both teams, as he could provide a physical and explosive presence in the backfield, as well as a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield. He also had familiarity with both teams, having played against them twice a year as a division rival. The Vikings and the Bears reportedly offered Montgomery lucrative contracts, hoping to lure him away from the Lions. However, Montgomery ultimately decided to stay loyal to the team that drafted him and gave him his first opportunity in the NFL. He agreed to a four-year deal worth $32 million with $18 million guaranteed with the Lions, making him one of the highest-paid running backs in the league. He said he felt a strong connection with the Lions organization, especially with head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, who showed faith in him and helped him develop his game. He also said he wanted to be part of the Lions’ rebuild and help them win their first Super Bowl. Montgomery’s decision was met with mixed reactions from fans and analysts. Some praised him for his loyalty and commitment to the Lions, while others criticized him for passing up on better opportunities with more competitive teams. Some also questioned whether he was worth such a big contract, given his limited track record and the short shelf life of running backs in the NFL. Regardless of the opinions, Montgomery has made his choice and is ready to prove himself as one of the best running backs in the league. He will face his former suitors twice a year, as he will try to help the Lions improve from their 4-13 record in 2022. He will also have to deal with high expectations and pressure from his new contract, as he will try to justify his value and avoid injuries. Montgomery has shown that he has the talent and work ethic to succeed in the NFL. Now he has to show that he has made the right decision by staying with the Lions. Final Thoughts: David Montgomery’s Loyalty Pays Off David Montgomery’s decision to stay with the Detroit Lions may have surprised some fans and analysts, but it shows his loyalty and commitment to the team that gave him his first opportunity in the NFL. It’s rare to see a player choose loyalty over money and the chance to play for a more competitive team, but Montgomery’s decision shows that he values more than just financial gain. Montgomery’s decision is also a win for the Lions, who managed to keep one of their best players on the roster and avoid losing him to a division rival. Montgomery’s versatility and reliability make him a valuable asset for the Lions offense, and his presence will help the team improve their running game and give them a better chance to win games. Of course, there are always risks associated with giving a big contract to a running back, as injuries and declining performance can quickly erode their value. However, the Lions must have confidence in Montgomery’s ability to stay healthy and productive, as they were willing to commit a significant amount of money to him. Overall, Montgomery’s decision to stay with the Lions is a testament to his loyalty and the faith he has in the team’s coaching staff and management. It also shows that players are willing to prioritize more than just financial gain, as Montgomery chose to stay with a team that he believes has the potential to win a Super Bowl. Only time will tell if Montgomery made the right decision, but for now, he has shown that loyalty can pay off in the NFL.