Just hours before the NFL trade deadline, the Baltimore Ravens sent a 2020 seventh round pick to the Green Bay Packers for veteran running back Ty Montgomery. This trade comes just days after the fourth year pro fumbled a crucial kick-off return, thus robbing Aaron Rodgers and co. of the chance to knockoff the undefeated Rams in LA.
Reports from Green Bay after the game seemed to suggest that Montgomery was told not to return the ball out of the endzone, which would have given GB the football at the 25-yard line with 1:56 left and one timeout, in need of only a field goal for the win. While Montgomery denied these reports, this trade means that that will be the last play the former third round pick takes as a member of the Packers.
The Ravens have added a player with both talent and versatility. The former third round pick came into the league as a wide receiver in 2015 before transitioning to RB in 2016. In the modern NFL, it is incredibly useful to have a player who can line up all over the pitch, and be a threat both on the ground and in the air. Baltimore have been lacking a true pass-catching back since the injury to Kenneth Dixon back in week one.
He also provides a speedier alternative to their incumbent starters: Alex Collins and Javorious (Buck) Allen. Allen had become the go-to pass catcher this year from the backfield, but the addition of Montgomery will likely allow him to focus more on red-zone rushing: his primary talent. This move will also give even more weapons to Joe Flacco, who already has a brilliant WR core of Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead, as well as a good offensive line and decent TE group.
The Packers were very active at the trade deadline, also trading Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington for a fourth round pick. The two deals together would give off the look of a team looking to rebuild, even if the picks received were not top picks. Perhaps it is part of a mini-rebuild where Green Bay could look to add premier talent around Aaron Rodgers this offseason, whilst filling out the rest of the roster with inexpensive rookie contracts. This would, in effect, see the Packers looking to load up for one last run with A-Rod; before the franchise has to begin looking for the future of a quarterback position that has been the league’s most stable for over 25 years.
Whatever the reasons for this trade, it has gone down. It now leaves Green Bay with only Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones as viable backfield options. This should not be too much of a problem, assuming they remain healthy, as Rodgers and his wide receivers will always be the carrying force of this offence. This move leaves Baltimore with a really good backfield committee, and nets the Packers some compensation for a player that was likely to be cut after his actions last weekend. All in all, both teams have come out very well.