When thinking about possible running backs for the 2017 New York Giants, Eddie Lacy immediately comes to mind.We continue our New York Giants free agency series with a look at Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy. Last week, we looked at Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Eddie Lacy makes a lot of sense for the Giants. Positionally, running back is clearly a need. All signs point to the Giants releasing veteran Rashad Jennings, who hasn’t had the impact that he had hoped for in New York. Bobby Rainey is not the answer at running back, nor is Orleans Darkwa.
The Giants only viable option at running back going forward that is currently on the roster is Paul Perkins. The UCLA product made good strides down the stretch of his first season in the NFL, but he didn’t show enough game-breaking talent in his rookie campaign to warrant being the first choice back.
Eddie Lacy could be an option. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year has certainly had an up and down career. His first two seasons in the league were terrific — he had over 1,000 rushing yards in each season and recorded 20 total rushing touchdowns. He also added close to 700 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in that period.
However, he showed up to camp overweight before the 2015 season and had a sluggish third season. His amount of carries dropped significantly, he rushed for less than 800 yards, and only had three rushing touchdowns. He clearly fell out of favor with head coach Mike McCarthy, and doubts swirled around his future with the team.
This season, he appeared to come back with a vengeance, averaging a very impressive 5.5 yards per carry over the first four games of the season. In the five games Lacy played, he racked up almost half the yards he picked up in the 15 games he played the year prior. However, a disappointing season-ending ankle injury derailed his impressive start to the season.
Lacy’s resurgence before his injury, however, suggests that he could join the Giants as a low risk, high reward player. Now that Ty Montgomery appears to be the top running back in Green Bay, Lacy could head to the Giants as, worst case scenario, a workhorse back who could platoon with Paul Perkins in the Giants backfield, as stated by Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon:
He (Lacy) could be relatively cheap on a prove-it contract, which would be ideal for a Giants team looking to see if he can carry the load alongside Paul Perkins.
A prove-it contract is a good way to put it.
The Giants can hand Lacy a cheap, one-year deal, and ask him to show them what he has left in the tank. At 26 years old, it should be more than enough — Lacy has every opportunity to regain his form from the first two years of his pro career and establish himself as a bell cow back for the Giants, who desperately need an improved running game.
The Giants could be turned off by his recent injury history, as well as his training camp incident from a few years ago. However, they could choose to look at the positives: coming out of college at Alabama, Lacy was renowned for his agility, his strength and power, and his ability to run through the tackles. That play style perfectly compliments the explosiveness and speed that Paul Perkins brings to the table.
Overall, it makes a lot of sense to sign Lacy on a short, prove-it contract. He will, at the very worst, act as a complementary back that will platoon with Paul Perkins and give the Giants a more diversified and effective backfield.
The best case scenario? He regains his rookie-sophomore-beginning of last season form and provides the Giants a legitimate shot of a balanced offensive attack.
Either way, the risk far outweighs the reward in this instance. If the price is right, Eddie Lacy could be a tremendous free agent signing for the New York Giants.