Eddie Lacy was a dynamic runner in four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, but injuries and weight problems kept him from fulfilling the promise that made him a much-hyped second-round draft pick in 2013. He’ll have another chance to maximize that talent after agreeing to terms with the Seattle Seahawks, according to his agents.
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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a one-year deal worth $5.55 million with $3 million guaranteed. He received similar offers from the Packers and Minnesota Vikings, but chose to land in Seattle instead due to the team’s run-first identity, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Lacy found immediate success with the Packers after being drafted 61st overall in 2013. He gained more than 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons and scored 20 combined touchdowns as Aaron Rodgers’ top tailback. An ankle injury limited him to only 12 starts in 2015, and when another ankle injury shut down his 2016 after only five games, the end of his career in Wisconsin grew nigh.
When healthy, he showed flashes of the ability that made him a Pro Bowler in 2013. Lacy ran for more than five yards per carry last fall, but concerns about his weight followed him as the season wore on, replaced only by questions about his durability after hitting injured reserve.
Despite those issues, Green Bay was eager to keep Lacy in the fold. The tailback told ESPN’s Adam Schefter his agent had heard the franchise had made his retention a top priority. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed as much at the NFL Combine in March.
However, his role with the franchise may be diminished. Green Bay was productive using runners like James Starks, Christine Michael, and former wide receiver Ty Montgomery in his stead. Montgomery looks like the leading candidate to take over the top spot in the team’s tailback platoon next fall after gaining 457 yards on just 77 carries in 2016. That ability to create space, combined with solid hands from his days as a wideout, make him a dangerous weapon for Rodgers and the Pack.
Lacy will have to rehab his value after looking like a can’t-miss running back through two seasons in Green Bay. There’s no doubt he can run the ball effectively when he’s healthy and in shape, but his ’15 and ’16 seasons have left plenty of questions about how often he’ll see the field.
The Seahawks have a promising young back in Thomas Rawls, but in 2016 he struggled to stay healthy and the team didn’t have much success with Christine Michael, Alex Collins, or C.J. Prosise taking over the role. The hole left by the retirement of Marshawn Lynch was tough to fill, but Lacy should help the Seahawks add power in the backfield that has been missing.