Ramblings: Lions GM Brad Holmes does the unpopular but right thing in signing Montgomery

Signing likely ends Jamaal Williams stint in Detroit

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

When the news broke that the Lions were signing former Bears running back David Montgomery on Tuesday night, every Lions fan had the same reaction.

Wait, what about Jamaal Williams?

Lions general manager Brad Holmes has been shooting darts in free agency, since legal tampering opened on Monday, signing a top-tier cornerback, Cam Sutton, another veteran corner, Emmanuel Moseley, in addition to Montgomery in the offensive backfield.

The early moves show a trend -- calculated upgrades with moderate risk. Sutton and Moseley are surely upgrades to a depleted Lions secondary.

While Jamaal Williams brought leadership, personality, and a hard-hitting running style, it’s hard to argue that Montgomery is not an upgrade. He’s rushed for more than 800 yards in all four seasons with the Bears, and brings a similar down-hill running style vs. Williams. He’s younger and probably cheaper.

Williams is a fan favorite, for good reason. He was a huge voice in the locker room, in the huddle and in the post-game interviews. But instead of paying a player, probably too much, to please the fans -- Holmes looked elsewhere.

And that’s exactly what he’s supposed to do. Make the move that helps the team win. Williams will definitely be missed in Detroit, but it’s this type of unpopular move that builds a winning franchise.

The Lions are definitely not done -- they have more cap space, and five picks in the top 100 in the upcoming NFL Draft. Stay tuned.

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About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.