Ryan Poles on David Montgomery leaving: ‘Players do have a choice’

Bears running back David Montgomery carries the ball against the Vikings.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

PHOENIX — The Bears thought they made a competitive offer to keep running back David Montgomery. Then he signed a three-year deal with the Lions for similar money: $18 million.

“I would just kind of sum it up by saying players do have a choice,” Poles said Monday at the NFL’s annual meetings. “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.”

Poles had spoken openly about wanting to keep Montgomery, though he was candid about the fact that his desires didn’t matter unless the price made sense for both sides.

He presumes Montgomery will be motivated when he faces the Bears twice a year.

“Especially David, right?” he said. “He definitely is going to run with a chip on his shoulder, so we’ll be ready for that. But I communicated with him, too. Happy for him. He’s a guy I’ve respected since he was at Iowa State and I love the way he runs. So, it’s all good.”

The Bears gave former Panthers running back D’Onta Foreman a one-year, $2 million deal to take Montgomery’s place.

“I liked the style and the scheme — that fits well,” he said. “Good vision, burst. I love that he can finish runs with speed. So he’ll have a good opportunity to help us out.”

He’ll rotate with Khalil Herbert.

“I think it’s healthy to have a two-back system, guys that can rotate in and out, different styles like we’ve had before,” he said.

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