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'Employee No. 14': Montgomery Embracing Patriots Role

Versatile offensive target Ty Montgomery is ready to do whatever is asked of him with the New England Patriots.

When the New England Patriots signed running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery to a two-year, approximately $4 million contract in March, they knew they would be securing the services of a highly-versatile player capable of lining up at multiple positions.

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Though the Pats are undoubtedly pleased to have enlisted his services for the upcoming season, Montgomery is equally excited to have joined the six-time Super Bowl Champions.

“You can see the culture from the outside looking in,” Montgomery said of his choosing to sign with the Pats in free agency. “When the New England Patriots called, I just couldn't say no. I wanted to be here."

Montgomery was selected in the third round (94th overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the 2015 NFL Draft from Stanford. After spending his first three-plus seasons with the Packers, Montgomery was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a seventh-round pick [in the 2020 NFL Draft] during the 2018 season. He signed with the New York Jets in 2019, where he would remain for just one year. For the past two seasons, he had been a member of the New Orleans Saints.

To that point, Montgomery believes that his time with the Saints will serve him well during his time in New England. Not only has he noticed similarities in the coaching styles of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and now former Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, he did some reconnaissance by speaking with some ex-Pats, as well.

Prior to signing with the Pats, he enlisted the opinion of his ex-teammate Chris Hogan, who was also a former Patriots wideout. Hogan played in New England from 2016 through 2018, winning two Super Bowls with the team. Montgomery acknowledged that Hogan spoke highly of his experiences playing for the Patriots.

Still, playing for Belichick ended up being THE offer Montgomery could not refuse.

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“I’ve had teammates come from New England, and I wanted to be a part of this,” Montgomery said of his discussions with Hogan, as well as others. “I wanted to be a part of a team coached by Bill Belichick.”

While the pleasantries exchanged between the sides are a good sign for the upcoming season, Montgomery’s success with the team in 2022 will be determined by his play on the field. Throughout his career, Montgomery has amassed 1180 rushing yards on 258 carries with sevens touchdowns. As a backfield receiver, he has compiled 1104 receiving yards on 139 catches with three scoring receptions. Montgomery has also been effective as a kick returner, where he has gained 1,274 yards on 57 attempts, averaging 22.4 yards per return.

Montgomery is coming off a statistically underwhelming season in 2021. The 29-year-old averaged 2.9 yards per carry on 15 rushes and caught 16 passes for 95 yards and zero touchdowns for the Saints. If the Patriots have high hopes for him as a solid contributor as a reserve option on offense, they will need to see signs of improvement, starting in training camp. His special teams acumen may help his case, as he took 48% of the Saints’ snaps a year ago, both as a kick returner and on coverage teams.

With the Patriots, he should be expected to settle into an offensive option on third-down, as well as a backfield receiver. At his best, he can provide solid contributions as a hybrid receiver/running back and kick returner. Therefore, he should be New England’s second receiving back behind running back James White and third Z-receiver option [off the line of scrimmage] along with fellow wideouts Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne. Given his prowess as a kick returner, he is expected to compete for that role, as well.

Patriots RB James White
Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne (84)
Jakobi Meyers

Ultimately, Montgomery is willing to do what is best for the football team. Whether he is called upon to align in the backfield, on the perimeter or return kickoffs, the Stanford product is ready to help the team in any way he can.

"I am employee No. 14 of the New England Patriots,” Montgomery advised of his role with the team [while acknowledging the number he has been wearing during spring practices.] “And, I'll be doing whatever is asked of me."

He's embracing the "Patriot Way" already.