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Jan 1, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (30) celebrates his touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at Ford Field. NFL Rumors Aaron Rodgers Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

NFL rumors: The Detroit Lions opted to sign former Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery, letting Jamaal Williams walk in the process.

Jamaal Williams remains a free agent, but a return to Detroit seems unlikely unless his price tag drops dramatically. The Lions current backfield features David Montgomery and DeAndre Swift. Adding Williams to the mix would make for an elite trio, but would also come at a steep price tag.

Williams set a franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns last season, breaking Barry Sanders record. He also had over 1,000 yards on the ground. But Williams will be missed most for embodying the spirit of Detroit football, and helping to reestablish the Lions as a team on the rise.

After Detroit knocked the Packers out of the playoff chase in Week 18, Williams took the mix and let the world know that these are no longer the same pushover Detroit Lions. Now, he’ll suit up and bring that same spirit elsewhere. Will the Lions be able to replace such a valiant leader in the locker room?

Replacing Williams production on the field is possible, and Montgomery is talented, hungry and a little younger. Replacing him in the locker room, and his impact on the team culture, will have to come with a by-committee approach. The Lions are banking on something this organization hasn’t had for quite some time — a team-wide commitment to winning.

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