The Seattle Seahawks are heading into the 2016 NFL season with high expectations to compete in the NFC once again. They are not considered the “favorite” to win the conference, although they will give the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Arizona Cardinals a run for their money. Another team could come out of nowhere to compete for the NFC title, but those four teams are without question favorites.
One of the issues for the Seahawks will be figuring out which running back can replace Marshawn Lynch. He chose to retire this offseason after just nine NFL seasons, as ESPN originally reported.
Thomas Rawls will likely open the season as the starting running back in Seattle, but Christine Michael could push for playing time as well.
Looking ahead to the 2017 NFL free agency market, there is one player in particular that the Seahawks should target.
Eddie Lacy is heading into his final season on the books for the Packers. He had an impressive first two seasons in Green Bay, but struggled with weight issues last season. There is a lot of hope that he will bounce back this season to be a 1,000-yard back once again.
TMZ Sports reported that Lacy worked out with P90X founder Tony Horton this offseason.
Seattle would immediately plug Lacy into the role that Lynch once possessed. Lacy is a very similar type of back to Lynch. He would provide the same physical play to go along with the ability to bust a big run here and there.
Last season with the Packers, Lacy ended up carrying the football 187 times for 758 yards and three touchdowns. In his first two NFL season, Lacy recorded 1,178 and 1,139 yards respectively. He also had a total of 20 touchdowns during his first two seasons combined.
If Lacy does turn his career around this season and get back to being a legitimate workhorse running back, the Packers are going to do everything they can to re-sign him. They could even go so far as to place the franchise tag on him. There is always the chance that he could hit the open free agency market.
At just 26-years-old heading into the 2016 season, Lacy would be a long-term starter for the Seahawks should they end up signing him.
Outside of the Packers and Seahawks, there are going to be a lot of teams interested in Lacy. Even if he doesn’t have a huge breakout season, there will still be quite a few interested teams. If fellow former Alabama Crimson Tide running Trent Richardson is still getting contracts, Lacy will be just fine.
Not only would the Seahawks be improving their offense, but they would also be weakening their competition. Green Bay would have to go out and find another running back capable of filling Lacy’s shoes, which wouldn’t be easy to do.
It makes sense for the Seahawks on the outside looking in. Lacy would also have to be interested in joining the Seahawks if the Packers don’t end up giving him the new deal that he will want.
It will be interesting to see what next offseason holds for Lacy and the Packers. Seattle should be keeping a close watch on Lacy and a pursuit of a deal with him should be a priority.
Expect to see Lacy bounce back with a big season in 2016 to raise his free agency value. Green Bay will have to make a choice on whether to keep him with a new contract or let him walk in free agency. They could slap the franchise tag on him, although they may go a different direction.
Don’t be surprised if the Seahawks do pursue Lacy if the Packers allow him to hit the free agency market.
Do you think the Seattle Seahawks should pursue Eddie Lacy in 2017 NFL free agency? Would he be the perfect replacement for Marshawn Lynch? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini]