Eddie Lacy walked out of the Seahawks’ locker room for the last time the way he exited their plans, and the 2017 season.
Quietly. Alone. And not exactly up to Seattle’s or the 2013 NFL rookie of the year’s expectations.
“At all,” Lacy said Monday, pack-up day for the Seahawks.
Lacy signed in March as Seattle’s splashiest offseason acquisition. The 1,100-yard rusher for the Green Bay Packers in 2013 and ‘14 got a one-year contract from the Seahawks guaranteeing him at least $2,865,000 to be their new lead back — or to at least compete with Thomas Rawls for that role.
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Lacy could have earned an additional $385,000 in bonuses for making monthly weight checks, $1.3 million in performance bonuses such as a 1,000-yard season, and $1 million more in game-day bonuses for merely being active.
He didn’t perform. Often, he wasn’t even active.
Lacy gained just 179 yards. For the entire season. He averaged just 2.6 yards per carry, half of what he did in five games for Green Bay in 2016 before season-ending ankle surgery. He played in only nine of 16 games for the Seahawks.
Mike Davis, the spring waiver claim from San Francisco who was on the practice squad for the first 10 games, eventually took Lacy’s and Rawls’ job as the lead back. Converted wide receiver J.D. McKissic even surpassed Lacy and Rawls.
Among the NFL players who rushed for more yards this season than Lacy: Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, Chicago rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Houston rookie QB Deshaun Watson. Watson started six games before a season-ending injury.
The Seahawks guaranteed Lacy’s $1,365,000 base salary and $1.5 million signing bonus. He earned $750,000 of that $1 million in game-day bonuses. The Seahawks, pressed hard against the salary cap, saved $250,000 by keeping him a healthy inactive on game days for the first four times of his five-year career. That included Sunday in the season-ending loss to Arizona.
In two other games, the 27-year-old Lacy was active but did not get on the field. One other time he touched the ball just once, Dec. 3 in the win over Philadelphia.
So, no, this didn’t go the way he’d hoped he’d revive his career in Seattle.
“I don’t know,” Lacy said, at the edge of the locker room on his way out of town, almost certainly for good. “I’m just going to focus on next year and where I’m going to be, and to be the best person that I can be. Put myself in the best situation, and see how it goes.”
What are the Seahawks plans with him? Looks and sounds like nothing.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” he said. “I haven’t even looked into it.
“I’m just ready to go home, start this offseason, and get this off my mind.”
SCHNEIDER RUMORS IN 3, 2, 1…
NFL Network reported Monday Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson “is expected to transition into a new role within the organization,” according to unnamed sources.
Thompson has been the Packers’ GM since 2005. His personnel analyst in Green Bay that year, and in 2006 and ’07? Current Seahawks general manager John Schneider.
Cue the talk of Schneider being a prime candidate to replace Thompson as Packers’ GM.
Schneider grew up 15 minutes south of Green Bay, in De Pere, Wisconsin. He was with the Packers’ front office from 2002 until January 2010. That’s when he left his job as the Packers’ director of football operations for Thompson to become a first-time NFL GM with Seattle, to rebuild the Seahawks with new coach Pete Carroll.
Schneider was also Thompson’s director of player personnel for the Seahawks in 2000.
Schneider’s first Seahawks contract reportedly had an out for him to become the Packers’ GM. He said in July 2016 when he got an extension through 2021 with Seattle that his new Seahawks deal did not include an out clause to take an executive job for Green Bay.
JOECKEL PROBABLY GONE
Lacy isn’t the only Seahawk likely gone after one year and the team not getting what it paid for with him.
Left guard Luke Joeckel can also become a free agent for the second time in as many offseasons in March. The Seahawks gave the second-overall draft choice by Jacksonville in 2013 and former Jaguars left tackle $7 million guaranteed last spring. He was coming off reconstructive knee surgery in October 2016.
That knee remained problematic into the 2017 regular season. He started the first four games before he and the Seahawks decided on surgery on the same knee in October during the bye week. Joeckel missed five games.
Asked Monday what indications he had on what might be next for him, Joeckel, 26, said “just the offseason, go get healthy. That’s all I have to do now.
“I just had a hard time getting healthy when I’m playing on it,” he said on his way out of the Seahawks’ locker room, also for perhaps the final time.
“In the offseason I’m going to get some time to get some rest and really get some treatment on it. I think it will be really good.”
Asked if he got any indication in exit meetings with coaches on Monday if the Seahawks will make any effort to re-sign him for 2018, Joeckel said, tellingly, “No, I haven’t.”
Then he spoke of Seattle in the past tense.
“Oh, I loved it here,” Joeckel said. “This is a great building. I loved playing here. Loved the teammates. Loved the guys in the O-line room. It was great. Great. I loved this year. It was a lot of fun. Didn’t end like we wanted, but I had a blast.”
DeShawn Shead said he was encouraged by the 32 snaps he had Sunday against Arizona — 86 percent of those for Seattle’s special teams.
The Seahawks’ 2016 starting right cornerback and special-teams captain can become a free agent again in March. He missed the first 14 games of the season recovering from reconstructive knee surgery in January and a second surgery in July.
Now he waits to see if Seattle will re-sign him, as it did last spring, or let him leave as an unrestricted free agent.
“The whole goal is to try to take care of your family, right?” Shead said.
“The NFL—stands for ‘Not For Long.’”
EXTRA POINT: Coach Pete Carroll is scheduled to have his end-of-season press conference on team headquarters Tuesday morning.