Eddie Lacy had a Pro Bowl season for the Green Bay Packers as a rookie, but he's been plagued by injuries and concerns over his ballooning weight, which have limited his playing time. News broke on Tuesday that Lacy is leaving Green Bay in free agency after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
On Wednesday's episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless reacted to Lacy's move, and Bayless broke down the factors in Lacy's decision.
No. 1: Pete Carroll will be far more fun to play for
Skip Bayless: “I think he’ll be far more supportive than Mike McCarthy ever was, and I think he’ll be far more lenient with Eddie Lacy’s weight. Because the Packers really stuck hard on 235 or bust, or you’re going to be fined.
Pete Carroll said yesterday ‘I want him big,’ he said ‘in the 240s.’ So 245, whatever. They won’t care that much.”
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No. 2: I think Russell Wilson will be far more fun to play with than Aaron Rodgers
Skip Bayless: “I’ve said this all along - Aaron Rodgers can be difficult on teammates, and I think it rubbed Eddie a little bit the wrong way over time, where he [had to weigh] ‘Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers?’
Aaron Rodgers will accept no blame, as we’ve heard from Greg Jennings on this show, and Aaron Rodgers can be a bit of a thin-skinned diva who will point fingers at his teammates.
I would want to play with Russell Wilson because he’s more upbeat, he has some humility to him. I think that, in the end, Eddie Lacy said ‘I could be a fan-favorite there just as well as I can be in Green Bay.’ He didn’t take the money and run, he took the opportunity and he ran to Seattle, and that’s going to leave a hole for Green Bay.”
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No. 3: Marshawn Lynch established a Beast Mode tradition in Seattle
Skip Bayless: “Eddie Lacy can see that he could become the new Beast Mode and the new fan favorite, because obviously in Seattle last year they did run the ball a little bit more. They were 20th in rush attempts last year, Green Bay was only 29th in rush attempts. Obviously Eddie Lacy was hurt much of the year, but if you go back to Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning season against your Denver Broncos, that’s the 2013 season when Marshawn was still in Beast Mode.
He had 1,257 yards that year, they were second in the NFL in rush attempts, and I think Eddie could see that coming back. That year the Packers were 12th in rush attempts… because of a kid they had just drafted out of Alabama named Eddie Lacy.
I think the Packers were too hard on Eddie Lacy, and I think he rejected a similar offer in Green Bay because of that.”
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Shannon Sharpe: Normally players only leave a franchise because another will overpay
“Am I surprised? Yes and no. Normally when a player leaves and goes to another team in free agency, it’s because the other team overpaid in free agency. Because why else would he leave a system that he’s comfortable with, he’s had success with? He knows the city, he knows his teammates, he’s good with them. So why would he leave if [the new team] is not going to overpay him?
Now, if the reports are true, this is a very similar offer to what the Packers had on the table… and I agree with you. Mike McCarthy said ‘this is what your weight’s going to be. This is not negotiable, we’re notnegotiating a contract here. Your weight will be 235, that’s what I want you to play at.’
And for whatever reason, Eddie couldn’t make that happen. And so Mike McCarthy was very public, very outspoken with it.”
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Shannon Sharpe: Lacy feels like he'll get more opportunities away from Aaron Rodgers
“From Eddie’s point of view, he feels like he will get more opportunities to run the football running with Russell Wilson at quarterback as opposed to Aaron Rodgers. Because at the end of the day, you’re paying Aaron Rodgers $22 million a year. You’re not paying him to hand the ball off 350 times, you’re paying him to throw the football.
But let’s put some of this on Eddie… he had a lot of injuries, Skip, and I think the injuries are directly attributed to his weight. At Alabama they listed him at 220. You look at the pictures of when he played in that championship game, Skip? But, you know, in college, if they give you a weight and you don’t make the weight, guess what you’ve got to do? You do extra conditioning. Now in the NFL they’re not going to do that, they’ll just hit your pocket. They ain’t got time to run you in the ground because they need you fresh for Sunday.”
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Shannon Sharpe: Eddie Lacy needs to decide if he wants to play or eat
“This is what he needs to understand and come to the realization: Either he wants to take home millions of dollars a year, or he wants to take down buffets weekly. Because it’s one of two things, Skip. He’s going to eat himself out of the league. He’s 26 years of age, Skip, and he’s 267. He’s not going to make it to 30 in the NFL… who needs a 280-pound running back?”