Ryan Poles on Bears' loss of David Montgomery to Lions: 'Players do have a choice'


(670 The Score) Bears general manager Ryan Poles went on record early this offseason to say he hoped to retain running back David Montgomery in free agency.

Montgomery instead signed with the Lions on a three-year, $18-million deal that will line him up to face the Bears twice a season.

"I would just kind of sum it up by saying players do have a choice," Poles told Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona. "I thought we communicated well. I thought we negotiated well. At the same time, you don’t always know what’s going on in the background. But I thought we did a good job. We were transparent, we were organized and it just — it didn’t happen."

A third-round pick of the Bears in the 2019 NFL Draft, Montgomery rushed for 3,609 yards and 26 touchdowns over 60 games with Chicago. He rushed for 801 yards and five scores in 2022, the final year of his rookie contract.

The Bears signed veteran running backs D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer in free agency, adding them to a backfield that also includes Khalil Herbert and Trestan Ebner.

Herbert and Foreman are expected to be the Bears’ lead running backs in 2023.

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