The Seattle Seahawks spent the off-season recommitting themselves to the run game. There may be no bigger (pun not intended) commitment than to Eddie Lacy.
The Seahawks rarely dip into free agency to find a running back, preferring instead to draft at the position. Lacy is the biggest financial commitment the Seahawks have ever made to a free agent running back in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era.
Lacy came into the NFL with back to back 1,100 yard seasons while averaging 10 touchdowns per year with the Green Bay Packers. He took a step back in 2015, struggling with his weight management, before eventually losing his starting job to James Starks. Lacy still managed to gain 900 total yards that season.
Lacy got off to a fast start in 2016 rushing for 360 yards in his first 5 games. Ankle surgery cost him the remainder of the 2016 season, and this off-season, he chose to sign with the Seahawks instead of returning to Green Bay.
Fans have been curious as to what kind of shape Lacy will be in for the 2017 season. The Seahawks even put weight incentive clauses into Lacy’s contract. He hit the first two incentive weigh-ins, though there has been no announcement of his latest weigh-in.
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The team is probably less concerned about his weight and more concerned about his body composition and conditioning. The Seahawks do not need Lacy to carry the entire load, and therefore need him to be in fair enough shape to take 12-15 touches a game.
The running back rotation as a whole is a big mystery. It appears that Lacy will take a bulk of the carries, while C.J. Prosise handles the third down duties, and Thomas Rawls picks up the scraps. However; Rawls has been one of the training camp heroes thus far, which could cut into Lacy’s playing time.
In the end, Rawls and Lacy could both benefit from not be asked to be a lead back, which could make for a much improved Seahawks running game in 2017.