A series looking at the players on the Seattle Seahawks who are set to become free agents in March, as well as potential trade and cap casualty candidates.
Player: Eddie Lacy
Position: Running Back
2017 Cap Hit: $3.5 million (OverTheCap.com)
2017 Stats: 69 carries, 179 yards, 2.6 Y/A, 0 TD, six catches for 47 yards
When the Seahawks signed Lacy to a one-year deal, I thought it was perhaps their best free agent addition of 2017. He was likely a player they wanted in 2013 when he was drafted one spot ahead of Seattle choosing Christine Michael, and he fit the mold as the “type” of back that the Seahawks look for behind a poor-run blocking offensive line; Lacy had been known as a guy who could break tackles and create yardage after first contact.
He is no longer known as a guy like that. He may not be known as a “current running back” for much longer either.
Since 1970, there have been 22 seasons of a back having between 60 and 80 carries with less than 2.7 yards per attempt. Examples of this happening in the last decade:
- James Starks, Packers, 2016 (did not play in 2017)
- Shaun Draughn, 49ers, 2016 (did not play in 2017)
- Arian Foster, Texans, 2015 (played in 4 more games over rest of career)
- Deji Karim, Jaguars, 2011 (had 12 more carries in rest of career)
The only Hall of Famer to be among those 22 seasons was Franco Harris, who had 12 great seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, then came to Seattle in 1984 for one last hurrah; but it was more like “hurr-nah” as Harris had 68 carries for 170 yards and 0 touchdowns. At least Harris had the excuse of being 34, while Lacy has retreated to being FootballOutsiders’ second-worst back by DYAR (<99 carries, ahead of, ahem, Thomas Rawls) at the age of 26.
2018 Contract Outlook
After his poor 2015 season, Arian Foster signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. I’d expect Lacy to sign a one-year contract with a team that includes no guarantees unless he makes the team in Week 1. There’s also a chance that with the current crop of backs that will be available via free agency, trade, and the draft, that Lacy will be left behind all offseason and not signed at all. He was arguably the worst running back in the NFL and his last good season came in 2014. His last touchdown came in 2015, a year in which he also had four fumbles.
Likelihood to be re-signed: <1%
The Seahawks likely don’t want to give Lacy another dollar after getting zero return on investment from their previous deal with him. He was a healthy scratch down the stretch after losing carries to Mike Davis and J.D. McKissic and at 27 is too old to be taking a roster spot from a rookie or low-key free agent who couldn’t possibly do any worse than he did.
Running backs under contract for 2018: C.J. Prosise, Chris Carson, Tre Madden, Mike Davis (RFA), Thomas Rawls (RFA), J.D. McKissic (ERFA), Jalston Fowler (Futures)