RB Eddie Lacy agrees to deal to join Seahawks

Eddie Lacy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, who are OK with the hefty running back playing at a slightly higher weight than he did with the Green Bay Packers.

A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $5.55 million, with $3 million fully guaranteed.

Sources told Schefter that the Seahawks still plan to visit with free-agent running back Jamaal Charles on Wednesday.

Lacy, 26, appeared to be on track for a bounce-back season in 2016, averaging 5.1 yards per carry in the first five games, until a left ankle injury in Week 6 brought everything to a halt. He underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday said Lacy, who was listed at 235 pounds last season and whose weight was an issue with the Packers in 2015, is rehabbing from the ankle injury and the Seahawks want his weight in the 240s.

"He's a big back. He's a big guy. Ain't nothing wrong with that," Carroll told The John Clayton Show on 710 ESPN Seattle. "But there will be a real concerted effort to make sure he's at his very best. This is a hard time for him because he's working some rehab right now, but he is well-aware of what our expectations and the standards that we're setting. We would not have done this if we didn't have a really clear understanding of how we're going to go forward.

"This is a big deal for him. It's a one-year contract for him. This is a chance for him to prove it and show where he is in the league and how he fits in and how he can work to secure a good future for him. And he knows all of that. Coming here is really something he's pumped up about because he knows how we see it, too. So we're going to get him in great shape. We're going to show him at his very best. There's a weight in there that's a really good spot for him that he's working toward. And we'll do a nice job with that."

Carroll made it clear after last season that fixing the Seahawks' running game was going to be an offseason priority after averaging just 3.83 yards per carry, which ranked 24th in the league. Seattle suffered a number of injuries, with 18 players getting at least one carry in 2016.

Lacy will join Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise in the Seahawks' backfield. Rawls had a great rookie year in 2015, but he battled through multiple injuries last season. The Seahawks view Prosise as more of a third-down back who can be used as a rusher and a receiver.

Carroll has said often that his preference is to go with multiple backs. Lacy is the favorite to get the bulk of the carries, but Rawls and Prosise will also factor in.

Lacy thanked Packers fans on Twitter while also expressing excitement about his new opportunity.

Lacy, a second-round pick from Alabama in 2013, posted back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons to start his pro career and was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2013.

However, his weight became an issue in 2015, when Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said Lacy needed to come back in better shape after rushing for just 758 yards. After trimming down last offseason, he appeared to regain at least some of the weight he lost while working out with P90X founder Tony Horton, though he was still effective.

"That may have been a goal [playing at 235 pounds for the Packers], but he's a big man," Carroll told The John Clayton Show. "I want him big. I want him big and tough and strong, but I want him in the best shape so that he can run at his best and be durable and handle the load. ... 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."

Lacy's ankle injury was the impetus for the Packers to move receiver Ty Montgomery to running back full time last season.

Eddie Lacy rushed for 3,435 yards and 23 touchdowns in 51 games for the Packers, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. AP Photo/Morry Gash


EDDIE LACY, SEAHAWKS AGREE ON 1-YEAR CONTRACT

Running back Eddie Lacy battled weight issues, fluctuating production and injuries during the first four seasons of his NFL career, but the Seattle Seahawks are taking a chance on him in 2017.  

The Seahawks announced the deal. Lacy's agents at SportsTrust Advisors also tweeted he agreed to a deal with the team Tuesday.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 26-year-old's contract is for one year and $5.55 million with $3 million guaranteed.

This deal comes after the Alabama product's 2016 season ended after just five games thanks to an ankle injury that required surgery. That left the Green Bay Packers short-handed at running back, and they turned to then-wide receiver Ty Montgomery to handle some of the duties down the stretch.

Lacy finished with 360 rushing yards and zero touchdowns in those five games, but his 5.1 yards-per-carry average represented a career high and a significant boost from the 4.1 average he posted in 2015.

Lacy's dip in production in 2015 and injury issues in 2016 decreased his value heading into free agency. What's more, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com noted Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called out the running back for being overweight after his lackluster 2015 campaign.

Demovsky predicted, "There will be plenty of clubs scared off by Lacy's weight issues."

However, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll noted after signing Lacy that he "wants him big" and that the team will make a "concerted effort" to keep the running back in shape, per Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.

Bob McGinn of JSOnline.com reported Lacy visited the Seahawks, Packers and the Minnesota Vikings and that he weighed in at 267 pounds for one of the teams despite being listed at 234 pounds last season.

Seattle clearly wasn't put off even though Pro Football Focus gave Lacy a grade of 77.3 in its free-agency tracker, just ahead of Jacquizz Rodgers' 77.2, Terrance West's 76.5 and Mike Gillislee's 76.3.

That company doesn't scream franchise running back, although Lacy is still young and theoretically in the middle of his prime. His improved yards-per-carry totals in 2016 also provide reason for optimism for his new team, and he adds a physical presence to the backfield as someone who can convert short-yardage situations and extend plays by powering through arm tackles.

If Lacy returns to the form he demonstrated in his first two seasons—or even in 2016 before the injury—he will be one of the marquee skill-position signings of the entire offseason.

With the Seahawks still trying to find a replacement for Marshawn Lynch, Lacy seems like a good low-risk investment. He showed promise before suffering an injury last campaign and will have another opportunity to get a long-term deal next offseason if he plays well.

The Seahawks do need to find ways to upgrade their offensive line to help Lacy fully return to form. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus ranked Seattle's O-line as the NFL's worst in 2016, which would help explain, at least in part, why Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls struggled to stay on the field.

Lacy's performance has been all over the place throughout his career, and he'll have some competition for a major role in Seattle. The Seahawks offense is typically running back-friendly, though, and he's going from one prominent organization to another with a chance to compete for a playoff spot.      


NFL draft: Potential Eddie Lacy replacements for Packers

Eddie Lacy is moving on from Green Bay. The veteran RB agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Seahawks on Tuesday, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

How will the Packers replace him?

Here are five candidates -- with a round noted for when they could come off the board -- they could consider in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Alvin Kamara, Tennessee, Round 1
Kamara's a fluid and explosive back with pass-catching ability and enough power to run through arm tackles. Is he a beast like Lacy? No. But if Green Bay is looking for a difference-maker in the backfield, Kamara has a chance to be a top starter.

D'Onta Freeman, Texas, Round 3Freeman and Lacy have similar scouting reports coming out of college, with scouts being concerned about long speed and consistency of physicality. Lacy showed he could be a very productive back in the NFL, and the Packers might take the same shot on Freeman because of his nifty footwork for his size (6-foot, 233 pounds) and patience following blockers inside or outside.

Kareem Hunt, Toledo, Round 4
Hunt certainly isn't the fastest back in the draft class. But it's hard not to appreciate the pure effort he puts into every run. Scouts appreciate Hunt's sure hands, both as a runner and receiver, and his willingness in pass protection.

James Conner, Pittsburgh, Round 5
If Packers GM Ted Thompson is looking for a powerful back but doesn't want to strike quickly for one, Conner should be available later in the draft. Conner, a cancer survivor, packs a punch as a runner and has quick enough feet to take advantage of creases provided by the offensive line.

Matt Dayes, North Carolina State, Round 6
Dayes isn't necessarily explosive, but he is a complete back with the strength and determination to make tough yardage. His receiving skills are also appreciated by scouts, which makes him a good match for the Packers' offense.

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