Green Bay Packers: Ranking the top five offseason needs
3. Running back
How Green Bay deals with its running back conundrum is a story to follow. Eddie Lacy is set to hit free agency, and it’s unclear whether the Packers want him back.
We all remember the dominant Lacy of 2013 and 2014. Over his first two seasons in the league, Lacy piled up 2,317 yards rushing with 20 touchdowns. He added another 684 yards receiving with four touchdowns. His presence in the backfield forced an extra defender into box, leading to Green Bay’s unstoppable offense in 2014, one that helped the Packers to the NFC’s second seed, and Aaron Rodgers a second league MVP award.
Then there’s bad Lacy. Overweight and appearing uninterested, Lacy’s career took a turn for the worse in 2015. In 15 games, he posted just 758 yards and three touchdowns, lacking the explosiveness we were used to seeing. Lacy refocused in the offseason, and averaged 5.1 yards per carry in the five games he played in 2016.
An ankle issue wiped out the remainder of his season, and it’s not the first time the powerful back has been hampered by injury.
If Lacy comes back, it’ll likely be on a team-friendly deal. Should he hit the open market, there’s every possibility another team takes a flier and pays up. In that scenario, finding a running back in the draft would become one of Green Bay’s biggest needs. For all of Ty Montgomery’s talent, his role should be that of a complementary piece to a bruising downhill runner.