4 free agent running backs with ties to Broncos coaching staff

Sayre Bedinger
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4. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

Perhaps the one free agent running back that has been given the most violent shove into the realm of realism for the Denver Broncos in 2023 NFL free agency is David Montgomery of the Chicago Bears.

Montgomery seemed to be a logical fit for the Broncos before, just based on his skill set as a three-down back, but he seems like a borderline no-brainer after the hire of new running backs coach Lou Ayeni.

Ayeni was the Northwestern running backs coach for the past handful of years, but for four years, he was the running backs coach/run game coordinator at Iowa State. He was named the NCAA running backs coach of the year in 2017 for the tremendous season David Montgomery had.

Ayeni's connection to Montgomery from their time together with the Iowa State program is significant. Montgomery appears to be on his way out of Chicago and he would be such a perfect fit for the Broncos from a variety of angles. First of all, Montgomery is only 25 going on 26. As far as signing running backs in free agency, that's young enough to get great value for the next 2-4 years.

Second, Montgomery plays all three downs. He's tough, he's a good receiver out of the backfield, and his effectiveness in the passing game seems to have only improved since he came into the league.

I would view Montgomery as a no-brainer type of signing for the Broncos right now given his age, connection to the position coach Ayeni, as well as the fact that the Broncos could still look to the 2023 NFL Draft in rounds 3-5 for more depth at the position. Get Ayeni a player he's familiar with, draft him a young player he can mold, and get Javonte Williams back healthy as soon as possible without rushing it.

That's a plan for success for Denver at the running back position long-term.

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