The Green Bay Packers have a lot to do this offseason, with a number of key players set to hit free agency. But one free agent, the team should work to keep, is running back Eddie Lacy.
Many Packers fans are sick of Lacy. They are tired of him being overweight and last season, he played just five games due to injury. Yet, when he was on the field in 2016, Lacy looked like the bruising back of old. He looked more akin to the 2013 and 2014 version of himself, than the one we saw in 2015.
Lacy opened the season rushing for 61 yards against the Jaguars and 50 against the Vikings. But then, he started to hit his stride. He ran for 103 yards on 17 carries against Detroit, then racked up 81 on 11 against the Giants. Finally, with an injured ankle, Lacy got 65 yards on 17 carries in an admirable effort v the Cowboys.
Overall though, Lacy ran well. He averaged just shy of 5.1 yards per carry and was on pace to rush for more than 1,000 yards.
According to Lacy, the Packers have told him they want him back. But when NFL free agency opens this week, anything can happen.
But if the Packers are smart, they will be aggressive in trying to secure his return to the team. For one, he is still a young player and it would be a tough pill to swallow if he went elsewhere and found his form.
Lacy has already proven he can be a starter in the NFL. But he is injury prone and he probably shouldn’t carry the rock more than 15 times per game.
That’s why re-signing and pairing him with Ty Montgomery would be a dream come true.
Montgomery was the Packers leading rusher last season and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. He’s effective, but different from Lacy. Together, the two could give defenses fits.
The former wide out, Montgomery could see a greater role catching the ball out of the backfield, while still getting his 10-15 carries a game. Lacy could take on a similar role, which would preserve both backs for the long NFL season.
And if one of them gets hot in the game, the Packers can feed it to him. If not, they can attack defenses with alternate backs and running styles.
Who knows if the Packers will keep Lacy. My guess is they will as long as the price tag is reasonable. Hopefully, it is, because Lacy and Montgomery in one backfield, could be dynamite.