While Ty Montgomery joked that he isn’t too sure about the weather he’s experienced so far in his short time in New England, the versatile veteran has no qualms about his decision to sign with the Patriots as a free agent this offseason.
“Honestly, just with the culture that’s here from the outside looking in, when the New England Patriots called I just couldn’t say no,” Montgomery said during a Zoom call with local reporters this week. “I didn’t want to say no. I wanted to be here.”
A 29-year-old veteran of seven NFL seasons with Green Bay, Baltimore, the Jets and New Orleans, Montgomery has admired the Patriots from afar.
“You hear a lot, you see a lot. You can see the culture from the outside looking in,” Montgomery said. “I’ve had teammates in other teams that have come from New England and they always spoke very highly. I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to be a part of a team that’s coached by Coach [Bill] Belichick. I wanted to be a part of a team just with the group of guys that’s here. I just felt like being a New England Patriot is going to make me a better football player.”
Though it sounded like he’d already made the decision, one of those former teammates who promoted life in Foxborough was former Patriots receiver Chris Hogan who spent time with Montgomery with the Saints last season.
“Honestly I didn’t need any persuasion in any way. But Hogan was in New Orleans last season, so I did reach out to him after I knew I was going to come here,” Montgomery said. “He spoke very highly.”
Now that he is at Gillette Stadium, working out in the offseason program that will ramp up to OTA action starting next week, the question becomes how the versatile Montgomery fits in New England as he competes for a job. He’s worked as both a running back and a receiver in his career, both positions that have relative depth in his new home. While he’s currently listed on Patriots.com as a wide receiver, the best year of his career came back in 2016 when he rushed for nearly 500 yards and also caught 44 passes for another 350 yards for the Packers.
Initially, it sounds like the 6-0, 216-pound former third-round pick is working this May with the running backs, a position group that includes Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, James White and rookie draft picks Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris.
“Good group of guys. Everybody works hard. Every guy is very competitive. We push each other. It’s just a fun room to be in,” Montgomery said.
But he’s not making any assumptions about what his role or opportunities might be. The fact that White is working back from missing most of last season to a hip injury could open the door for Montgomery to be a backup plan in the passing back role.
“I consider myself an employee of the New England Patriots. And whatever they ask of me is what I’m going to do,” Montgomery said. “I’m employee No. 14 of the New England Patriots and I’ll be doing whatever is asked of me.”