People were ready to throw in the towel when running back Eddie Lacy’s on-field production regressed and his weight progressed. There was genuine concern the former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year was starting to like Chinese food more than he liked playing football.
How wrong they were.
The Seattle Seahawks were the team willing to take a gamble on the 26-year-old back in hopes of utilizing his size and power as replacement for Marshawn Lynch. With Lynch in the lineup, the Seahawks have long been one of the best rushing teams in the league, but after he “retired” last year, their rushing totals dipped to 25th in the league.
Then, Lacy somehow landed in their lap on a one-year, $4.2 million deal with $3 million guaranteed. It is basically a prove-it and incentive-laden deal that will allow Lacy to earn a respectable pay check, while also giving him an opportunity to play himself into an even bigger contract in 2018. He is still young enough to cash in on a blockbuster contract, if he shows any sign of being the running back he was his first two years in Green Bay.
“He’s really joined in. He’s been a really good addition,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told The New Tribune’s Gregg Bell. “He’s been competing the whole time he’s been here, more so than anybody because he’s had a lot to overcome – some habits and lifestyle — to do what he’s done. He’s done a beautiful job. …We know he’s a good football player. We know he’s hard to play against. He’s got a nature about him that kind of sets the tone because he is so physical and he is so tough when he runs.”
Lacy’s incentives are based on monthly weigh-ins throughout the year. The Seahawks are trying to encourage him to keep his weight under 250 pounds, and he has already earned two bonuses in May and June for nearing that mark.
It would seem as if Lacy is taking this opportunity very seriously. That could mean great things for an offense that looked completely out of its element when forced to lean solely on the throwing arm of quarterback Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks are generally a team that thrives on running the football and setting up the play-action pass, which Wilson is one of the best in the game at selling. Lacy’s mere presence in the backfield should generate some form of normalcy for the offense in 2017.
He came at the perfect price, and so far, he seems to be the perfect fit. The only thing left now is to produce.
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