More Seahawks' mailbag questions about Eddie Lacy's incentives and the backup QB spot.
Time for some more Seahawks’ Twitter mailbag questions.
Q: So, what do you make of the news of Eddie Lacy’s performance-based contract incentives?
A: Okay, no one specifically asked this. But it’s a good question to bat around after the news Wednesday from ESPN detailing the rest of Lacy’s contract, a one-year deal worth as much as $5.5 million overall but with just $2.865 million guaranteed. As has been well-chronicled, Lacy can also earn $385,000 for hitting specific weights seven times throughout the year, each weigh-in worth $55,000.
But the contract also includes some significant incentives based on yards gained — one reason the Seahawks had intimated at the time of the signing that they’d be a pretty happy team if Lacy earned all of the money in the deal.
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Wrote ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia: “Per a league source, Lacy’s contract includes a potentially bigger bonus tied to rushing yards. If he runs for at least 800 yards, Lacy will cash in on an additional $250,000. If he hits 900 yards, he’ll get $500,000. For a 1,000-yard season, Lacy receives $750,000. For 1,100 yards, the number jumps to $1 million. And if Lacy rushes for 1,200 yards or more, he’ll get $1.3 million. (He is eligible to receive just one of the bonuses tied to yardage; they don’t accumulate.)’’
My initial reaction is that these are the most fascinating incentives any Seahawk has had in a while.
The one notable player who has had a contract with a lot of performance-based incentives is Doug Baldwin, whose deal before the one he signed last year called for some significant money based on receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Baldwin ultimately earned an additional $750,000 in 2015 (when his base salary was $2.8 million) when he caught 78 passes for 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns.
But most of the contracts for Seattle’s key players are based mostly on base salary and signing bonuses. Marshawn Lynch’s last Seattle deal had a few roster bonuses but was mostly base salary and the signing bonus.
Lacy, meanwhile, is being heavily incentivized to stay in shape and perform at a position where there is no clear-cut depth chart.
Lacy enters camp battling Thomas Rawls for the starting job with C.J. Prosise seeming ticketed mostly for the third-down back role, with the likes of Alex Collins and Troymaine Pope hoping to work their way into the mix, as well.
How the carries and snaps get divided between all the tailbacks will be one of the more interesting subplots of the 2017 season.
The money isn’t so much that it should factor into how the Seahawks use Lacy in any way.
But it certainly will be well-followed and heavily noticed, particularly if Lacy is close to any of those numbers on the last day of the season.
Q: @lloydsouth asks: What happened with Skyler Howard that he got the quick boot?
A: Howard, from West Virginia, was a rookie quarterback the team signed as an undrafted free agent who was waived on Monday following the team’s rookie mini-camp.
Simply put, the team didn’t see enough from him to decide it was worth keeping him on the roster. He didn’t throw particularly well, at 5-11, 208 he wasn’t real physically imposing, and the team got a sense in the three days or the mini-camp that he wouldn’t provide competition for Trevone Boykin as the team’s backup.
Seattle also has Jake Heaps behind Boykin and Russell Wilson at quarterback.
Heaps also isn’t regarded as a real threat for the backup quarterback job. But having been around the team for almost two years now in a variety of roles — designated thrower for workouts, camp QB, practice squadder for a few weeks last season — can serve a valuable role in helping the team conduct training camp (he also has become close enough with Wilson that Wilson invited Heaps to his off-season workouts before Heaps had re-signed with the Seahawks).
That Howard was dismissed so quickly, though, helped lead to what has been the big story of this week — Seattle’s pursuit of a veteran backup QB, and specifically Colin Kaepnerick (in fact, Seattle is thought to have first sought out Kaepernick’s representatives on Friday, possibly indicating how quickly the Seahawks made an assessment of not only Howard but also Daniel Birdsong, who was also in camp as a tryout player and did not sign).
Had the Seahawks thought Howard potentially able to compete with Boykin they might have been satisfied to go into the off-season with the QBs they had. Instead, the inability to find a rookie this year who can compete helped lead the Seahawks to reconsider veteran options.