Add running back to the Green Bay Packers’ list of offseason needs.
Eddie Lacy, who piled up 3,001 total yards in his first two seasons but missed most of last year with an ankle injury, signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, according to his agency. It’s a one-year, $5.5 million contract, which includes $3 million guaranteed, according to a league source.
Lacy had just completed free-agent visits to Seattle, Minnesota and Green Bay.
After battling weight issues and rushing for only 758 yards in 2015, Lacy looked rejuvenated entering 2016. From a weight-loss perspective, his offseason workouts with fitness guru Tony Horton might not have paid lasting dividends. He looked massive again by early in the season.
Whatever weight he regained from Day 1 of training camp to Week 6 of the regular season, however, seemingly had no impact on his performance. In his five games, Lacy rushed for 360 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry, putting him on pace for 1,152 yards had he lasted the full season. Even in his last game, a gimpy, tough-guy performance against Dallas, Lacy managed to hurdle would-be Cowboys defenders.
According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lacy weighed 267 pounds at one of his visits.
Green Bay is thin in the backfield. Its only running backs are Ty Montgomery, a converted receiver, and Don Jackson, who had 10 carries as an undrafted rookie before a season-ending knee injury. Christine Michael (172 yards, 3.7 average) remains a free agent. That could force the Packers to use an early pick on a running back, even if they make a move in free agency. Former Packers back James Starks is available, as are Latavius Murray, Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles,
The one-year deal was the expectation and probably a win-win for the Seahawks and Lacy. For Seattle, it minimizes the risk. For Lacy, it gives him the opportunity to put up big numbers before hitting free agency next year, when he’ll be approaching his 28th birthday.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.