Ty Montgomery

North Notes: Tate, Packers, Browns, Burns

The Lions are only one game out of the NFC North lead, but they nonetheless made the decision to trade their most productive wide receiver since Calvin Johnson to the Eagles. Golden Tate is now in Philadelphia, and some Lions staffers are “very surprised” about that transaction, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. This led Breer to wonder if there was a conflict between Tate and the Lions, and a team source informed him that wasn’t the case. Instead, the Eagles’ offer of a third-round pick for a player who was likely on his way out after 2018 was too good to pass up. Tate would have netted the Lions a compensatory pick had he left in free agency, but that selection would’ve come in the 2020 draft. Now, Detroit has an additional Day 2 pick in 2019. Tate’s departure, though, makes any Lions playoff hopes less likely.

Several of the North divisions’ teams made moves before the trade deadline. Here’s more fallout from some others, along with the latest from some other North franchises:

  • Ty Montgomery‘s fumble on Sunday in Los Angeles didn’t just prompt non-essential Packers to anonymously gripe about the mistake. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes respected veterans called out the since-traded running back/return man. That, coupled with Montgomery not accepting full responsibility for his mistake and publicly expressing trust issues with teammates, signaled the Packers had to move on from the former third-round pick, per Silverstein. Montgomery stands to finish out his contract year with the Ravens.
  • The Packers were not happy about the way Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s 2017 season ended, with Silverstein writing Green Bay brass believed the 2014 first-round pick avoided tackles in the season finale against the Lions. This helped influence the Packers’ decision to not enter contract talks with Clinton-Dix prior to the 2018 season. While this tactic isn’t uncommon for the Packers, who let established starters Randall Cobb, Bryan Bulaga, Sam Shields and others play out their contract years before re-signing them, it led Clinton-Dix to believe he wasn’t going to be back next season. Hence, the trade to Washington. GM Brian Gutekunst, however, said (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky) these trades weren’t meant as a message for the locker room.
  • As far as replacing Clinton-Dix, the Packers have some interesting options. One NFC scout told Silverstein their best choice might be to move recently added cornerback Bashaud Breeland to safety and play him in tandem with Jermaine Whitehead. Kentrell Brice served as Clinton-Dix’s safety running mate this season. A four-year Redskins starter, Breeland has not played a snap for the Packers yet. Another option, as Demovsky details, would be to play 2017 second-rounder Josh Jones. He’s worked as a special-teamer thus far. Tramon Williams could be an option as well, so Green Bay is not lacking in possible solutions.
  • The Browns named former Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley as their running backs coach today. This is interesting on multiple levels. The 29-year-old now-coach’s highest level of experience came as a San Diego State graduate assistant. Lindley, though, played under new Browns OC Freddie Kitchens with the Cardinals when Kitchens was their QBs coach.
  • Artie Burns did not play a snap in the Steelers‘ win over the Browns on Sunday. Mike Tomlin said he benched the former first-round cornerback because he was late for a walkthrough, but Burns said Wednesday (via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) he was back with the starters at practice. Coty Sensabaugh started in place of Burns in Week 8.

Deadline Notes: DT, Fowler, Collins, Bell

There were five trades made on deadline day, but none of them involved Giants safety Landon Collins. Appearing on ESPN’s The Michael Kay Show, the 24-year-old said New York was “asking a little bit too much,” leading to suitors shying away from a deal.

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes that the Giants were ultimately seeking a 2019 second-rounder and a late-round pick in 2020, but no team offered more than a third. The Chiefs and Buccaneers were among the teams to have made bids for the defensive back.

Considering all of the rumors surrounding the Giants, Collins admitted that he was a bit on edge up until the deadline.

“Yeah I was very anxious honestly,” Collins said (via Vacchiano). “I heard multiple teams offered a lot. It’s crazy. My agent called me and I looked at my phone and thought ‘Oh God.’”

Below are some more deadline notes from around the NFL…

  • Before the Broncos traded wideout Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, both the Patriots and Eagles made competitive offers for the veteran, reports Mike Klis 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The Titans also made a late bid for the receiver. Denver ultimately sent Thomas and a seventh-round pick to Houston for a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick. New England had previously been connected to the 30-year-old. Philly ended up making a trade with the Lions for wideout Golden Tate, another wideout the Patriots were eyeing.
  • The 2019 third-round pick sent to the Jaguars in the Dante Fowler trade is conditional, tweets Howard Balzer. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the conditional draft pick will be based on how many compensatory picks the Rams receive. If Los Angeles does receive a compensatory pick, that will be sent to Jacksonville. If the Rams receive more than one compensatory pick, the Jaguars will receive the higher selection. If the Rams don’t get any compensatory picks, then they’ll simply send their own pick to complete the trade. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets that Los Angeles is expecting compensatory picks for the offseason losses of Trumaine Johnson and Sammy Watkins. Jacksonville also received a 2020 fifth-rounder in the Fowler deal.
  • As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out (via Twitter), the Steelers unwillingness to trade Le’Veon Bell means the running back will now have two weeks to report to the team. If the Pro Bowler fails to show up by November 13th, he won’t be allowed to play this season. Fowler notes that Bell is still intending on playing this season, but he still hasn’t informed the Steelers of his plans.
  • The Ravens traditionally don’t trade draft picks for players, especially during the season. As Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes, prior to today, the team had only made one significant pre-deadline deal (for left tackle Eugene Monroe in 2013). However, today’s trade for Ty Montgomery followed general manager Ozzie Newsome‘s “right player, right price” attitude. Baltimore ended up sending the Packers a seventh-rounder for a versatile offensive weapon who had more than 800 all-purpose yards only two seasons ago. While the 25-year-old may not be as flashy of a name as LeSean McCoy or Jordan Howard, Zrebiec believes the Ravens gave up minor draft capital for a player who could end up helping them down the stretch.

Packers Trade Ty Montgomery To Ravens

The Ravens have acquired running back Ty Montgomery from the Packers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). In return, the Packers will receive a 2020 seventh-round pick. 

The trade comes days after Montgomery made a puzzling football decision that cost the Packers an opportunity to beat the undefeated Rams. Montgomery was instructed to settle for a touchback off of the Rams’ kickoff, but opted to run with the ball instead. Montgomery fumbled the rock, eliminating any chance the Packers had at a late-game drive. The Rams won 29-27 and Montgomery lost his job in Green Bay as a result.

For what it’s worth, Montgomery denied disobeying his coaches.

I’ve never been a guy to completely disobey what I’m being told. I think you can ask a lot of guys in our locker room,” Montgomery said on Monday. “That’s not what I do. That’s not the type of man I am. That’s not the kind of person I am.

In any case, Montgomery will move on to a new team that could feature him as a leading ball-carrier. The athletic Alex Collins has yet to impress and backup Buck Allen hasn’t done a whole lot with his carries either. On the flipside, Montgomery won’t have a ton of time to assert himself. Kenneth Dixon could return in a couple of weeks and the Ravens won’t have any qualms about benching or releasing Montgomery if he is ineffective.

Through seven games, Montgomery has averaged 4.0 yards per carry off of 26 totes. He’s also recorded 15 catches for 170 yards.

Montgomery’s best season came in 2016 when he was converted from wide receiver to running back. He finished out that campaign with 457 yards off of just 77 carries and three rushing touchdowns. He also added 44 grabs for 348 receiving yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Place Ty Montgomery On IR

Ty Montgomery‘s season is over. The running back has been placed on injured reserve due to rib and wrist injuries. To take his place on the roster, wide receiver Michael Clark has been promoted from the practice squad. Ty Montgomery (Featured)

Montgomery missed time due to a rib ailment earlier this year. This time around, he needs more time to recover.

Montgomery’s season ends after just eight games played. He had 71 carries on the year for 273 yards (good for an average of 3.8 yards per carry) with three rushing touchdowns. The converted wide receiver also added 23 catches for 173 yards and one receiving TD. It wasn’t quite as impressive as Montgomery’s 2016 season in which he averaged 5.9 yards per rushing attempt with 44 catches for 348 receiving yards.

With Montgomery and fellow running back Aaron Jones sidelined, the Packers will be leaning on rookies Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays. It would also make sense for the Packers to look into acquiring another tailback.

The Packers are 5-6 after dropping their last two games. They’re not out of the playoff chase yet, but they’ll need to beat the Bucs on Sunday to keep hope alive.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Clayborn, 49ers, Lions

Falcons defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn was prepared to hang up the cleats last offseason, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Clayborn suffered a torn biceps in Atlanta’s playoff win over the Seahawks in January, which marked the third time that he had endured a season-ending injury, and he was ready to retire rather than risk more pain and frustration. However, his fiancee (now wife) convinced him to give it another shot, and Atlanta is reaping the benefits. In addition to his otherworldly (and perhaps cathartic) six-sack performance against Dallas last week, Clayborn has rated as the 10th-best edge defender in the league (out of 110 qualifiers) per Pro Football Focus. He will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and he could be on the verge of a very nice payday.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • 2017 was always going to be a rebuilding year for the 49ers, and Cam Inman of the Mercury News offers his thoughts as to each current player’s future with the club. He suggests, for instance, that the team may prefer to let oft-injured Jimmie Ward test a soft free agent market but may want to re-sign fellow free agent-t0-be Daniel Kilgore.
  • Kyle Meinke of MLive.com says he would not be surprised if the Lions simply cut Eric Ebron this offseason. While Ebron is due an $8MM salary under the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, that salary is guaranteed for injury only, so Detroit could move on from him with no penalty (assuming, of course, he does not get hurt in the meantime). Theoretically, the two sides could attempt to work out some alternate arrangement — after all, Ebron would not get close to $8MM on the open market — but given that Ebron seemed anxious for a fresh start when his name was bandied about at the trade deadline, it sounds as if Ebron may be playing his last games as Lion.
  • In the same piece, Meinke says it is hard to imagine Lions head coach Jim Caldwell getting the axe after the season, even if the team fails to qualify for the playoffs. However, Meinke predicts that Detroit will let impending free agent center Travis Swanson, who has performed poorly this season, hit the open market while sliding Graham Glasgow from guard to center.
  • Ty Montgomery‘s re-aggravated rib injury is more painful than the original injury that he suffered earlier in the year, as ESPN’s Josina Anderson tweets. Anderson said the Packers running back, who will miss today’s contest against the Ravens, will try to practice later this week with the hopes of suiting up for Green Bay’s Week 12 game against Pittsburgh, but it does not sound particularly promising right now.
  • Mike Pettine, who is currently serving as a consultant with the Seahawks, would be one of Matt Nagy‘s top choices for defensive coordinator if Nagy lands a head coaching job this offseason, as Michael Lombardi of The Ringer tweets. Pettine served as the Browns’ head coach from 2014-15, and he was previously a defensive coordinator for the Jets and Bills. Nagy currently works as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator and is expected to be one of the hottest head coaching candidates in 2018.

Injury Notes: Winston, Jones, Montgomery, Freeman, Brissett

Despite putting an end to their five-game losing streak this afternoon, the Buccaneers did it without their starting quarterback Jameis Winston. The former first overall pick was expected to miss “a couple of weeks” with a shoulder injury, but general manager Jason Licht admitted during the team’s pre-game show that their franchise signal caller may actually miss more time than that, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

“There is no time line on this, Licht said. “This may be an extended period.” Stroud did relay that Licht revealed his quarterback had no new damage to his shoulder, which is certainly encouraging news for his potential return.

However, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-0 as a starter this season, it’s been a disappointing campaign for a Tampa Bay squad that was expecting to be playoff contenders after barely missing the postseason a year ago. Apart from the injury, Winston himself has not shown the development many thought he would in his third-year in the league. The 23 year-old has continued to turn the ball over this season (6 INT, 5 fumbles) and has accumulated a career-worst QBR of 41.3 in 8 games this season.

  • The Packers lost two running backs in today’s win over the division rival Bears. Ty Montgomery left the game with an apparent rib injury, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. While not ideal, it’s an ailment we’ve seen him overcome earlier in the season. But while his outlook remains unclear, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears that fellow back Aaron Jones looks to have a sprained MCL. Rapoport reports that the rookie will undergo an MRI on Monday, but has likely avoided a serious injury, even though he may miss a few weeks regardless. Third-string running back Jamaal Williams finished out the contest, but look for the team to add more depth to the position during this coming week.
  • Rapoport also passes along that Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was forced into concussion protocol during the first quarter of today’s game vs. Dallas. One of the best running backs in the NFL last year, Freeman has taken a step back along with the entire Atlanta offense in 2017. Predictably, Tevin Coleman got the bulk of the carries after Freeman left the game, and would be in line for major work in the team’s Monday night tilt vs. the Seahawks next week should Freeman not clear concussion protocol before then.
  • The Colts suffered a concussion scare of their own when starting QB Jacoby Brissett appeared lightheaded after a big hit during today’s tilt with the Steelers. However, the second-year signal caller didn’t miss much playing time after he supposedly cleared concussion testing during the team’s subsequent defensive series. But in a twist, Brissett wasn’t available for postgame comments because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms after the close loss, according to Mike Chappell of Indy Sports Central on Twitter. The Colts have since released a statement on their own Twitter account indicating that Brissett passed two concussion tests during the contest, but then started to experience side effects after the game. It seems like a murky situation at the moment, but at the least add this development to a number of other instances this season where there was at the least some confusion regarding the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Packers Not Planning To Add Running Back

Packers running back Ty Montgomery‘s injury isn’t as serious as originally believed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Original reports indicated Montgomery suffered broken ribs in Thursday night’s game, and it’s unclear if that diagnosis was incorrect, or if Montgomery will simply be able to manage the injury.Ty Montgomery (Vertical)

[RELATED: Latest On Packers CB Damarious Randall]

Now considered day-to-day, Montgomery could be available when Green Bay faces Dallas in Week 5 following a ten-day layoff. That’s the second bit of positive news the Packers have received today, as backup running back Jamaal Williams also avoided a major injury, escaping Green Bay’s victory over the Bears with only a knee sprain.

The Packers don’t intend to add a running back to their roster, per Schefter, an indication that the club believes at least one of Montgomery or Williams will be ready to go come next Sunday. If not, Green Bay will instead rely on rookies Aaron Jones and Devante Mays, with fullback Aaron Ripkowski also in the mix.

Montgomery, 24, has been a vital cog in the Packers’ offense in his first season as a full-time running back. Through three-plus games, Montgomery has managed 152 yards and two scores on the ground while adding 18 receptions, 129 yards, and another touchdown in the passing game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ty Montgomery Suffers Broken Ribs

Ty Montgomery left Thursday night’s Bears-Packers game in the first quarter, and some additional details as to why emerged after the rain delay.

The Packers running back suffered broken ribs, inducing the locker room trip, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The fractures occurred early, but the third-year performer attempted to play through the injury, Rapoport reports. He will not return to the game.

Green Bay’s carrying virtually no experience at running back behind Montgomery, himself drafted to play wide receiver. Fourth-round rookie Jamaal Williams entered the game for Montgomery in the first quarter, and the Packers also have fifth-rounder Aaron Jones and seventh-rounder Devante Mays. The latter is inactive tonight.

Despite a slow start on the ground (3.o yards per carry), Montgomery has been effective as a receiver thus far — 18 receptions for 129 yards through three games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Fallout: Kizer, Abdullah, Butt, Jags

The Browns were the club most frequently connected to new Bears’ QB Mitch Trubisky prior to the draft, but Chicago made the surprising decision to trade up to the No. 2 overall pick and nab the former UNC signal-caller, and then Patrick Mahomes came off the board before Cleveland could nab him with the No. 12 overall selection. So the Browns dealt that pick and waited until the the second round to get a quarterback, selecting Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, whose stock slipped over the last few months but who certainly has first-round ability.

As Tony Grossi of ESPN.com writes, the Browns are open to having Kizer start right away. Head coach Hue Jackson said, “If he can handle [starting], great. We are not going to say, ‘No, you can’t play,’ if he is ready to play.”

Now for more fallout from the 2017 draft:

  • The Lions did not select a running back in this year’s draft, and as Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes, GM Bob Quinn stated afterwards that Ameer Abdullah, who missed almost all of 2016 with a foot injury, will be the team’s starting back going into 2017.
  • The Packers drafted three running backs over the past several days, but head coach Mike McCarthy said that converted wideout Ty Montgomery will “absolutely” be the team’s starting back (via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal).
  • The Cardinals landed guard Dorian Johnson in the fourth round of this year’s draft, even though his talent level should have made him a Day 2 selection. Johnson has a liver condition that made a number of clubs wary of making him a second- or third-round choice, and Johnson’s agent, Joe Panos, took exception to his client’s slide, saying, “I had GMs tell me they couldn’t risk a 2nd or 3rd on Dorian due to the recent discovery of a liver condition he’s had since birth, even though his heptalogist said his condition will in no way affect his ability to play. Teams couldn’t risk a high pick on him. Yet every year I see teams risk high picks on guys with serious character issues. Bad guys. They’ll take risks on those guys because his coaches ‘vouched’ for him. [A coach’s] word is gold. But Dorian’s heptalogist, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about?” (all links go to Twitter via ESPN’s Adam Caplan).
  • New Broncos tight end Jake Butt slipped to the top of the fifth round of this year’s draft due to an ACL injury he suffered in his final collegiate game (prior to the injury, he was projected to be picked at the top of the second round). But before the 2016 college season, Butt purchased a loss-of-value policy that partially compensated him for the money he lost due to his draft slide, as Darren Rovell of ESPN.com writes. Had Butt been selected at the top of the second round, he would have earned $4MM guaranteed, but as an early fifth-rounder, he is guaranteed only $380K. The insurance policy paid out roughly $900K (pre-tax), so the injury ended up costing Butt a little shy of $2.8MM. These loss-of-value policies have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Jaylon Smith are two of the more notable recent beneficiaries of such policies.
  • The Jaguars acquired Branden Albert earlier this offseason, but GM Dave Caldwell said second-round draft pick Cam Robinson will compete with Albert for the starting left tackle job (via Hays Carlyon of 1010XL). Albert has been absent from voluntary workouts as he seeks a new contract, though if he proves to be the best man for the job, Caldwell did indicate that Robinson could move, at least temporarily, to guard.
  • The Jaguars selected Oklahoma wideout Dede Westbrook in the fourth round yesterday despite his two domestic violence arrests that caused some teams to remove him from their boards completely. As Albert Breer of TheMMQB tweets, one AFC area scout said of Westbrook, “No thoughts. It is what it is. He’s a degenerate.”

Packers Notes: Thompson, Montgomery, Lacy

The idea of Packers general manager Ted Thompson taking a lesser role has come up, but it doesn’t appear it’s going to happen this offseason. Thompson is “not going anywhere,” head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, including Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin, on Thursday (Twitter link). The 64-year-old Thompson, who McCarthy acknowledged is “not the youngest cat anymore,” has been the GM in Green Bay since 2005. The team has made nine playoff trips, including eight in a row, and won a Super Bowl during Thompson’s 12-year run.

More from Green Bay, whose season ended with a 44-21 NFC title game loss in Atlanta last Sunday:

  • Tom Clements, who had been a member of the Packers’ coaching staff since 2006, was on an expiring contract this season and “is going to move on to some other interests,” according to McCarthy (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). “That will be the one change to our staff,” commented McCarthy. Clements last worked as an associate head coach and had previously been Green Bay’s offensive coordinator, but McCarthy took play-calling duties from him in December 2015.
  • After a stunningly effective 2016 as a running back, Ty Montgomery will remain at the position going forward, McCarthy revealed (Twitter link via Wilde). “He’s a running back. He wants to change his number, and that’s the way we’re going,” McCarthy said of Montgomery, a former wide receiver who currently wears No. 88. Montgomery broke out in earnest as a rusher with a nine-carry, 60-yard showing against the Bears in Week 6, and the 24-year-old ultimately totaled 457 yards and three touchdowns on 77 attempts (a healthy 5.9 YPC).
  • Eddie Lacy‘s injury issues were a key reason why the Pack turned to Montgomery out of the backfield in the first place. Lacy, who only played in five games this season before ankle surgery forced him to injured reserve in late October, is scheduled to become a free agent in March. That means the four-year veteran could be done in Green Bay, but McCarthy hopes not. “I’d love to see him back,” said McCarthy, who added that the team won’t decide whether to re-sign Lacy until he “clears the medical threshold” (via Demovsky).