Montgomery is an exciting and versatile piece that should be able to challenge for a spot on the Saints’ 2020 roster. He was stuck behind a rotation in New York with the Jets last year, but over his career he has appeared in a myriad of different ways.
He started off with the Green Bay Packers as a slot receiver, getting some play in the run game here and there before fully transitioning to running back after some injuries to the Packer backfield. He then went on to hold versatile running back/receiver roles after being traded to Baltimore and later signing with the New York Jets.
While his production was held back after leaving Green Bay as he struggled to find playing time in busy backfields. New Orleans could be the perfect place for Montgomery to find a rhythm and role that works for his skillset. Who better to work with as a position-versatile offensive weapon than Sean Payton? The guy that turned an undrafted free agent QB with injury concerns from BYU into a household name across the NFL? You give Sean Payton an intriguing athlete and he will figure out how to incorporate them into the offense.
Montgomery’s experience as a receiver can help him immensely in the Saints’ system as a pass-catcher out of the backfield but also in the slot and out wide. You can see Montgomery play those roles just last year as he lined up 41 times in the slot in 2019 according to Pro Football Focus. Certainly Saints fans can see where this comes in handy after watching with this staff has done with threats like Alvin Kamara and, of course, Darren Sproles.
In his career (including postseason targets), he has caught a whopping 82.8% of the passes he was thrown including catching 54 of 59 in 2016 where he transitioned from wideout to the backfield. That season included two straight 10 catch games. One from each position.
He has been no slouch in the run game either averaging 4.5 yards per carry over his five years, again, including the postseason. He did that even after a lowly 3.2 in 2019. For comparison, Alvin Kamara averages 4.8.
Now the big question is where does Montgomery fit on this Saints roster? The most obvious fit right now is via the third running back spot where the only competition he will face at this time are incumbent Dwayne Washington, UDFA Tony Jones, Jr, and last year’s practice squad member Taquan Mizzell who also intrigues in the WR/RB hybrid role. The key difference between Mizzell and Montgomery though is in Montgomery’s favor. He has produced at the NFL level. But one question that garners some curiosity. What if Coach Payton moved him back to the slot? Interesting to consider...
The value is not exclusive to offensive production, either. Montgomery also brings experience in special teams, taking 176 with kick and punt units in 2019. Washington earned his third RB role las season after 172 special teams snaps in 2018. On top of that, he has also proven to be a good pass blocker as well, a trait that the Saints very much value. He has been productive an successful picking up pass rushers and blitzes, especially up the middle.
He does bring a handful of fumbles with him throughout his career, including a pivotal one in Week 8 of the 2018 season against the Rams. He was traded to Baltimore soon after. The Saints coaching staff will certainly have their eyes on that element of his game and, if he instills confidence there, it furthers his chances of making the roster.
The Saints usually pull together some nice pick ups in the late wave of free agency and this Ty Montgomery signing deserves some excitement and attention. Because of his “jack-of-all-trades” responsibilities in the past, Montgomery should be able to contribute to both the run and passing game if he makes the roster. The trick will be finding ways to get him involved in a loaded offsence where Baltimore and New York failed to do so. If nothing else, he could be great depth that keeps the team from having to change the gameplan too much if Alvin Kamara needs to be spelled.
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