Eddie Lacy’s contract is in place with the Seattle Seahawks, confirming prior NFL rumors of the Pro Bowl running back leaving the Green Bay Packers. The Lacy contract is clearly a “prove it” deal, giving a struggling player the chance to showcase his talents for a new team to get a bigger contract during the next NFL offseason. One would think that the Lacy signing would end Seahawks rumors about running backs, but Jamaal Charles is still meeting with the team on Wednesday (March 15).
A report by NFL analyst Ian Rapoport confirms that the new Eddie Lacy contract is a one-year deal, with a base salary of $5.55 million attached to it. Only $3 million of the deal is fully guaranteed, giving the Seahawks an “out” if Lacy doesn’t work out well at the beginning of the 2017 NFL season. Should he return to the form that landed him on the NFC Pro Bowl team as a member of the Packers, this deal could look like an offseason steal for the Seahawks.
This deal with the Seahawks creates a running back controversy with the team, making it even more difficult to predict what the team is going to do in the running game. The whole reason for this Eddie Lacy contract, though, was because of the total lack of success the team had running the ball in 2016. During the 2016 NFL season, Christine Michael actually led the Seahawks with 469 rushing yards. Thomas Rawls had 349, Russell Wilson had 259, C.J. Prosise had 172, and Alex Collins notched 125
Playing in just five games for the Green Bay Packers during the 2016 NFL season, Lacy would finish with 360 total rushing yards. Injuries and health concerns, coupled with a lack of on-field success led to that lack of playing time. It followed a 2015 NFL season where Lacy failed to maintain any consistency in the running game. He managed just 187 carries in 15 games, posting 758 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Eddie Lacy’s stats in 2015 and 2016 were a huge drop from his 1,139 rushing yards and 427 receiving yards during the 2014 NFL season. That dip in production led the Packers to start looking for someone new in free agency. Players like Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Latavius Murray, and several other free agent running backs have surfaced in Packers’ rumors, with several setting up meetings to see what the team can offer in a deal.
Eddie Lacy’s contract with the Seattle Seahawks is a bit of a pay raise for the veteran, even though it may seem like a bargain when compared to the salaries that some of the top running backs receive. As a rookie, Lacy signed a four-year, $3,392,412 contract with the Green Bay Packers, including a $847,208 signing bonus, $1,040,208 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $848,103. Now he could make more in one year with the Seahawks than he did during his first four seasons with the Packers.
There are going to be many questions about the Seattle Seahawks’ running back situation when the team arrives at camp this summer. What this Eddie Lacy contract does prove, though, is that the team is committed to giving him a shot to become the starting running back. With all the other potential starters coming off injuries during the 2016 NFL season, they may have to prove they can take the position away from Lacy now. What could end up happening is the offense simply evolving into a rotation of running backs depending on the down and yardage needed.
Teams like the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions are going to have to look to another free agent running back this offseason. It had been reported that Lacy’s meeting with the Vikings went well, but he apparently liked the situation or the salary being offered in Seattle a bit more. With the Eddie Lacy contract now in place, the Seahawks can turn back to improving an offensive line that had quite a few problems protecting quarterback Russell Wilson last year.
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