Bears Listed Among Teams “In the Mix” For Free Agent RB Jamaal Williams — Are They Still a Fit?
The running back market started picking up steam on Tuesday.
First, it was Rashaad Penny going off the board and moving on to Philadelphia. Later, it was David Montgomery leaving Chicago to sign with the rival Detroit Lions. And even though the Bears were able to quickly pivot to Travis Homer, I’m not sure the team is done re-working the running backs room. The Bears were reportedly showing interest in adding a veteran RB to their group (even before Montgomery’s departure). We found ourselves spitballing some candidates, one of whom is being connected to Chicago as a possible free-agent target.
Jamaal Williams seems to have the Bears’ attention and interest. They’re not alone, but reporter Ty Dunne has them “in the mix” of teams monitoring Williams’ situation:
Dunne’s tweet came before the Bears agreed to bring on Homer. However, signing Homer might not be the last addition to the position group this offseason. And well we get to potential draft options at a later date, this feels like a good time to kick the tires on free agent options — of which Williams is the most intriguing.
Williams, 27, is coming off his first 1,000-yard season and a year in which he led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns. The Lions probably should’ve been looking to keep around a popular team leader who was a productive player. But maybe the allure of Montgomery was too much to pass up. Perhaps a Bears-Lions free agency RB swap is in the cards? That would be fun to follow.
Even without the Bears-Lions storyline potential, Williams checks some boxes as a fit. He spent time in Green Bay with Bears Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy from 2019-21. In other words, this gives him familiarity with the type of scheme Chicago wants to run. That also means he also has a feel for what it is like to play in the NFC North. It’s a small thing, but not inconsequential. But more than that, Williams hasn’t been a high-volume ball carrier at any point of his career. There isn’t a lot of tread on the tire, so to speak. This could make him an ideal tag partner with Khalil Herbert. Successful offenses in modern football tend to have multiple backs worthy of getting the lion’s share of carries. Having a 1A and 1B tandem backfield has proven to be successful. So … why break away from that approach?
In the end, I feel as if the running back situation is fluid. Maybe we’ll get more movement today. And perhaps the Bears will be involved at some level. Stay tuned.