Bears RB Target: Morgan Ellison
Stephen Lew - USA Today Sports

Bears RB Target: Morgan Ellison

by - Correspondent -

The XFL officially started its second week last Thursday with the Seattle Sea Dragons losing to the St. Louis Battlehawks in heartbreaking fashion. The Sea Dragons are currently 0-2, losing both of their games to division opponents. But, their running back, Morgan Ellison has been a bright spot for the team.

In his first two games, Ellison currently has 13 carries for 67 yards. He’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry, the highest among any rusher with at least 10 attempts; his first down percentage of 30.8% is also the highest among rushers with at least 10 attempts. His rushing yards do not show the level of grit he possesses as a player. Watching the game against the Battlehawks, Ellison was constantly breaking tackles and making big plays for the Sea Dragons. He is the kind of player that will keep you in the game.

Also, it is hard for him to get carries when some of the top receivers in the XFL currently are on his team, showing a propensity for them to throw the ball. On the other hand, this gives Ellison an opportunity to get involved in the passing game, as he currently has five receptions for 28 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per reception. He is the kind of dynamic player that the Bears could use on their roster for the upcoming season, especially if they choose not to give Montgomery a new contract.

Given that Chicago was the No. 1 rushing offense in the NFL last season, averaging 177.3 rushing yards per game and the only team with over 3,000 total rushing yards, having a good group of rushing backs is vital. Quarterback Justin Fields clearly proved himself a quality runner, David Montgomery had over 800 rushing yards for the fourth season in a row, and Khalil Herbert stepped up during the time when Montgomery couldn’t play with over 700 yards rushing yards. Since the Bears are also in need of developing a passing game, having a catching running back is something that is necessary for them.

Montgomery’s rookie contract had his base salary for the 2022 season at $2,790,000. If he were to get a new contract, he would certainly get paid far beyond this amount. The other option to prevent Montgomery from leaving Chicago would be to give him a franchise tag, requiring that they pay him $10,090,000, which is also a great leap from what he made last season. While the Bears have the most amount of money to work with this offseason, they also cannot spend endless amounts of money on their players. Thus, the decision needs to be made whether it is worth it to keep Montgomery.

Even if they keep Montgomery, it would be ideal for Chicago to have a third running back option. In the event that Montgomery or Herbert were injured, the Bears would only have one solid running back. There are plenty of inexpensive options in the draft this season, particularly given the depth at running back, such as Xazavian Valladay out of Arizona State, who could get drafted very late. But, getting a running back from the XFL not only provides more game tape against greater competition but also gives the benefit of not demanding as high of a salary as an NFL free agent.

The XFL regular season is a total of 10 weeks, with the top two teams in each division going to the playoffs. While the playoffs are not looking too promising for the Sea Dragons at the moment, the season is young, and Ellison has a lot more than he can do.

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