The Green Bay Packers are currently locked into a heated battle for a spot in the NFC playoff picture. It has been a long season filled with ups and downs, but the team has come together and are looking much better at this point in the year than they were just a few short weeks ago.
Eddie Lacy came into the 2016 NFL season surrounded by question marks. He struggled with weight issues last year and the Packers considered moving on from him. Mike McCarthy decided to stick with his talented running back, but things simply haven't worked out this season.
After playing in just five regular season games, Lacy went down with a season-ending injury. It was a big blow for the Packers, but Lacy wasn't playing terribly well before the injury.
Lacy carried the football 71 times for 360 yards, but he was unable to score a touchdown. He did average 5.1 yards per carry, but still looked to be struggling with some extra weight. That was not what the Packers wanted to see from him, which has started rumors that he may not be back next season.
With Lacy heading into open free agency this offseason, should the Packers re-sign him?
At 26-years-old, there is no question that Lacy still has the talent to be a starting NFL running back. While that may be the case, he hasn't seemed motivated over the past couple years.
Looking ahead at the immediate future for the Packers, they cannot afford to waste more of Aaron Rodgers' prime. Rodgers isn't a young quarterback anymore and the Packers have to surround him with the best talent that they can find. Lacy may not be the best option alongside Rodgers in the backfield any longer.
Even though Lacy has struggled, the Packers have yet to find a better option. Ty Montgomery has looked decent at times in the backfield, while both James Starks and Christine Michael are used as backups.
Free agency could be where the Packers turn to find Lacy's replacement. Names like DeAngelo Williams, LeGarrette Blount, Latavius Murray, and Andre Ellington are set to hit the open market. Green Bay could also entertain the idea of trading for a running back like Jamaal Charles.
While there are some options that the Packers could look at, they may not seem as good as what Lacy can be if he is playing to the best of his ability.
Should the Packers re-sign Lacy without the promise of a better running back? The simple answer is yes. Lacy has not been getting the job done and they cannot sit around another year hoping that he finds his groove.Needless to say, parting ways with Lacy isn't going to be easy for the Packers. There is no question that he has the potential to be a star in the NFL. He showed that potential in his first two seasons with the Packers, but seemingly lost his motivation at some point after his second year.
Letting him walk away in free agency would be the right move for the Packers. They will have plenty of options to replace him and need to focus on finding a running back who is consistent and ready to put up big numbers each and every week to take pressure off of Rodgers.
Plenty of teams will line up to try and sign Lacy, but the Packers shouldn't be one of them. Lacy simply has not shown that he deserves a new contract, which is why Green Bay should allow him to walk away.
Do you think the Green Bay Packers should re-sign Eddie Lacy in NFL free agency this coming offseason? What other teams do you think should pursue him? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
[Featured Image by Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini]