Seemingly without a need at running back, the Bears are signing former Chief Damien Williams.
Damien Williams had a big game for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, then he opted out of last season due to COVID-19. He was cut by the Chiefs this offseason, and now according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network he has agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator previously, so his system is similar to the one Williams had some success in during the 2018 and 2019 seasons with Kansas City. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator during Williams’ first two NFL seasons (2014-2015). So there’s some familiarity there.
Do the Bears really need Damien Williams?
Despite Chicago’s broader offensive woes, David Montgomery finished fifth in the league in rushing last season (1,070 yards) on 247 carries (fourth-most). Add in his passing game usage (68 targets; 54 catches) and few running backs had more opportunities last season. He also had 10 total touchdowns. Tarik Cohen’s injury opened up a passing game role for Montgomery, and he’ll probably take back that role next season.
Then there’s Williams, who isn’t special in any area. Career averages of 4.2 yards per carry and 8.0 yards per catch don’t stand out, and he hovered around 7.0 yards a catch over two seasons with the Chiefs. Other than to siphon more touches than he should from Montgomery, it’s hard to see where he fits with the Bears.
The Bears signed Andy Dalton when a pursuit of Russell Wilson fell short (for now anyway). They’ve managed to frustrate Allen Robinson with a failure to give him a market value contract. Now, when Montgomery showed he could produce when given more opportunities, they add another running back who’s not as good. Unless Montgomery is now used as a piece in a new trade offer for Wilson, which seems unlikely at this point, signing Williams makes very little sense.