Packers Rumors: 1 Year Deal for Eddie Lacy?
When running back Eddie Lacy was selected by the Packers in the second round four years ago, it was a match made in heaven. Green Bay finally invested a high draft pick in a premium running back, giving Aaron Rodgers the hope of a consistent running game.
Last year was the first season in Lacy’s four year career where he missed more than one game, playing in just five contests and rushing for 360 yards. Weight concerns, conditioning questions, and durability issues circle the 26-year-old running back.
This weekend, Green Bay Press Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty reports Lacy may not be in line for as big of a payday as first expected:
So there’s a good chance Lacy will have to sign a one-year deal to prove to the league his ankle is fine and he can get, and keep, the weight off.
I contacted an agent who has studied the running back market because of a client hitting free agency, and he guessed that Lacy will get a deal worth about $2 million plus plenty of incentives.
If Lacy were to re-sign with the Packers at or around $2 million, his contract would be similar to former back James Starks’ 2017 cap number. Starks was cut by the Packers last week and was scheduled to count $3 million against the 2017 cap.
Running backs Ty Montgomery is under contract next season, with backs Don Jackson and John Crockett on futures deals. Christine Michael, acquired via waivers during the season, is also scheduled to hit free agency this spring.
Where Eddie Lacy’s next contract places him among NFL running backs
Dougherty’s prediction of a one-year, $2 million contract for Lacy falls below what Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Michael Cohen predicted on January 26th.
Cohen suggested Lacy’s value belongs in the top 10-15 running backs, estimating a salary number of between $4 million and $5 million. But Cohen added one caveat.
“Lacy can likely be had for a bargain,” Cohen wrote, “unless some other team takes a big risk.”
What other teams may take a big risk?
Free agency begins on Friday, March 9. When NFL teams have money to spend, it can be like watching a middle schooler parade around the mall with cash he got as a Christmas present. It’s spent fast, and on things that don’t make a whole lot of sense.
A team giving Lacy a long-term contract would be like the middle schooler deciding he needs the top of the line Nerf gun that shoots 100 rounds of foam bullets a minute.
Last year, running back Chris Ivory signed a five year, $32 million deal with the Jaguars early in free agency. Ivory was two years older than Lacy when he signed his contract, and had missed the majority of two seasons due to injury in his career. He rewarded the Jaguars with 439 yards on 117 carries, posting the lowest yards per carry average of his career.
If an NFL team falls in love with Lacy’s highlights and believes he can stay at a good playing weight, it’s not far-fetched to see the 26-year-old back signing a long-term contract, too.