Patriots an intriguing long shot to land free agent RB Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy is no lock to return to the Packers, as oddsmakers think the Raiders and several other teams also could get in the mix. Mike Tierney explains why he's backing the Patriots at +1750 to land Lacy.

 

The career life span of an NFL running back can be painfully short. Case in point: Eddie Lacy.

He burst out of the starting blocks with 1,000-yards-plus rushing seasons, spiced by 20 touchdowns, in his first two years with the Packers.

Then, injuries and excess weight happened.


Lacy tailed off to 758 ground yards in 2015 and was limited last year to five games, in which he generated 360 yards. Physical ailments, compounded by extra poundage, were the main culprits.

Where will Lacy call home next season?

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That Green Bay is the best bet, according to BookMaker.eu, might be more a reflection of his low market value than the Packers' desire to re-sign the free agent.

At 26, Lacy is young enough to find a second wind with his second squad, so he cannot be written off. Yet he is competing for teams' attention not only with veteran free agents but an intriguing crop of rookies that feature Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook.

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BookMaker.eu eyes four teams most likely to hand Lacy a uniform for the start of the regular season. Odds are listed for each, along collectively with the other 28 franchises bunched in the Field.

From BookMaker.eu: Eddie Lacy's team in Week 1 of 2017 regular season:

Green Bay Packers +200
Oakland Raiders +400
Minnesota Vikings +900
New England Patriots +1750
Field +125

Green Bay Packers (risk $100 to win +200): Coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers were in charge during Lacy's glory days. Their fond memories could persuade the Pack to retain him, and this team is hardly flush with viable options on the roster.

While Lacy could wear the green and gold again, it seems illogical that Green Bay would put all its eggs in this basket when it is oh-so-close to a Super Bowl. Perhaps he will accept a modest, one-year deal.

Oakland Raiders (risk $100 to win +400): For this to happen, Latavius Murray would have to leave. Such a scenario is plausible because Oakland has greater spending priorities than shelling out to keep Murray, and Lacy would come relatively cheap. The hefty Lacy could theoretically complement the Raiders' other pint-sized pair of young backs.

Minnesota Vikings (risk $100 to win +900): The buzz on Adrian Peterson wanting out of Minnesota has picked up. If he departs, the Vikes are thrust into a favorite's role for Lacy. As a fellow NFC North member, Minnesota is familiar with his fine work.

He could still wind up there as a backup and potential successor if the aging, fading A.P. stays. Holdovers Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata averaged only 3.4 and 3.3 yards, respectively. That will not cut it.

New England Patriots (risk $100 to win +1750): LeGarrette Blount recently turned 30, so the unpredictable Pats could let him scoot away in free agency. Lacy fits the profile of New England acquisitions who have fallen out of favor elsewhere.

Most Pats-related wagers involve short prices, so why not take a flier on steep odds on the type of player whom Bill Belichick tends to go after?

SportsLine expert Larry Hartstein is less than enthused about any of those options.

"With Lacy still recovering from ankle surgery, his market is really tough to predict," Hartstein said. "The Packers certainly won't go overboard to retain him, not with his durability and weight issues. Other RB-needy teams not listed here, like the Giants, could easily get in the mix.

"With so much uncertainty, the Field is the best bet.?