If weight may be one of the big concerns about Eddie Lacy, it also proved to be one of his prime attractions to the Seahawks. Tuesday, the Seahawks signed Lacy to a one-year contract reported to be worth up to $5.5 million if all incentives are reached.
If weight might be one of the big concerns about Eddie Lacy, it also proved to be one of his prime attractions to the Seahawks.
Tuesday, the Seahawks signed Lacy — listed at 234 but usually playing 20 or so pounds above that — to a one-year contract reported to be worth up to $5.5 million if all incentives are reached. The hope is to, well, beef up a rushing attack that turned anemic last season in the first year without Marshawn Lynch.
“He’s a big back in classic fashion,” coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday in an interview on ESPN 710 Seattle shortly after the agreement with Lacy was announced. “I like that we’re bringing in a big, tough guy that’s going to send a message the way he plays the game.”
Eddie Lacy file
Height, weight: 5-11. 234
Position: Running back
Age: 26 (turns 27 on June 2)
Hometown: Gretna, La.
Notable: Rushed for 1,178 yards his rookie year in 2013 and for 1,139 yards in 2014. ... Was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl in 2013. ... Rushed for only 758 yards in 15 games in 2015. ... Rushed for 360 yards in five games in 2016 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
The trick will be for Lacy not to get too big.
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His weight, as well as an ankle injury last season that required surgery, helped lead the Packers to let Lacy test free agency.
Lacy was the first of four running backs to visit the Seahawks, doing so last weekend, and agreed to the deal Tuesday after having also visited Minnesota and considering returning to Green Bay.
A report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel later stated that Lacy weighed in at 267 on one of his visits.
In a later interview on KJR-AM 950, Carroll declined to give Lacy’s specific weight when asked but noted that he hasn’t been able to work out the way he will later due to rehabbing his ankle.
Carroll, though, sounded unconcerned that Lacy’s weight will be an issue and said as long as he is somewhere in the 240s all should be good.
“In his (240s) he’s really dangerous,” Carroll said. “So we have a real target for him. We’ll be on it on a regular basis and we’ll keep him in great shape.’’
The Seahawks desired a veteran running back to add experience and depth after a rugged 2016 season when Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise combined to play just 15 of a possible 32 regular season games due to injuries. Injuries to Russell Wilson also contributed to the Seahawks rushing for just 99.4 yards per game in 2016, 25th in the NFL, after ranking in the top four in rushing each of the previous four years.
Lacy is just Seattle’s second signing of the free-agent period following offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, and Carroll said it was no coincidence the first two free-agent signings were aimed at improving the run game.
Eddie Lacy by the numbers
2.15 Yards per rush after first contact for Lacy since 2013 (his rookie year), the second most behind only Marshawn Lynch (2.20) in that time span, according to ESPN.
5.1 Yards per carry Lacy averaged last season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
23 Career touchdowns for Lacy.
“We were the least-balanced we have been in six years here, and we want to get right back (to that balance),” Carroll told KJR.
Besides Lacy, free-agent running back Adrian Peterson visited Sunday-Monday and Oakland’s Latavius Murray had been expected in Tuesday, but that visit was canceled after the Lacy signing. There were two reports that Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles might still visit but that was unconfirmed Tuesday night with some thought that the Seahawks might now be done spending free-agent money at running back.
On KJR, Carroll said the fact that Lacy came in first also indicated he was the team’s top choice. “That kind of told you what we were thinking,” he said.
Green Bay drafted Lacy 61st overall in the 2013 draft out of Alabama, a pick before Seattle chose Christine Michael. There has always been speculation the Seahawks would have taken Lacy had he been available.
He rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of his first two seasons, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 and also being named to the Pro Bowl.
Injuries and weight gain slowed his career the last two seasons. But he was averaging a career-high 5.1 yards per carry in 2016 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury after five games.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, averaged just 3.9 last season after averaging 4.5 in 2015 in the last year with Lynch and 5.3 in 2014 in Lynch’s last full season.
Carroll on KJR said there are obvious similarities between Lacy and Lynch “because they are tackle-breakers.”
Carroll also said he can envision Lacy and Rawls serving as something of a 1-2 punch with Prosise in a third-down role, and the hope is also that simply having three accomplished running backs will help keep each fresh throughout the season.
That Lacy like Joeckel — who Carroll said could play either left guard or left tackle — signed a one-year contract also helped seal the deal.
While some wondered if Seattle overpaid just a little, that the contract is for just one year means there is little long-term risk.
Carroll, though, said he hoped Lacy and Joeckel will play well enough in 2017 to become fixtures in Seattle.
“It’s up front, everybody knows what is going on,” Carroll said of the so-called “prove-it’’ contracts for each player. “With both guys we expect to do long-term deals — that’s how we go into it and we are going to think that way until there are reasons to think otherwise.
“And so our intentions are to get them to show where they stand, give themselves an opportunity to show what their value is on our club moving forward and really challenge them, also.”