Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson recently mentioned his desire to see Detroit’s run game improve. He said he wanted to see his backs turn 4- and 5-yard runs into 8, 9 or more yards. The offensive line in place is capable of paving the way for big gains. It was on them to make it happen.

They’ll look to do that with a shiny, new toy in David Montgomery, who reportedly agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Lions Tuesday night.

Montgomery, 25, has been the Bears’ lead back since he was drafted in 2019. The No. 78 player on The Athletic’s top 150 free agent list, Montgomery remains in the NFC North, joining a Lions team on the rise.

Here’s what Detroit is getting.

How he fits: On the surface, this move feels like a bit of a surprise. The Lions had been in communication with Jamaal Williams about a new deal, fresh off a year in which he rushed for north of 1,000 yards and a franchise-record 17 touchdowns. Perhaps the sides were further apart than expected. While we wait to see what happens with Williams, this certainly feels like the end of that marriage. Montgomery is younger and has more upside than the 27-year-old Williams, and might not have cost that much more than what Williams was looking for.

From a pure football perspective, it’s easy to see how Montgomery fits in with the Lions. He has excellent balance and can absorb contact, and his game complements D’Andre Swift’s quite well. He can be the back who handles the tough yards, while also offering more upside as a home-run hitter than Williams. Swift, meanwhile, can operate out of the passing game and be the dynamic player he’s shown glimpses of when healthy.