RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks are hoping Eddie Lacy can be motivated by a one-year contract to rediscover the form that made him the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The Seahawks and Lacy agreed to terms on a one-year deal Tuesday, providing Seattle a big body for a run game that was once the best in football but lagged last season following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch.
"I like that we're bringing in a big, tough guy that's going to send a message the way he plays the game," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said in an interview with KIRO-AM, the Seahawks flagship station, on Tuesday.
Lacy was the top offensive rookie four years ago when he rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also ran for more than 1,100 yards in 2014, but has since been slowed by injuries and lost favor with Packers coach Mike McCarthy at times.
Last season, Lacy played in only five games, sidelined by ankle problems, and finished with only 360 yards rushing and no touchdowns. Weight has also been an issue for Lacy, but Carroll said he would expect the running back to play in the range of 240-250 pounds.
"He's a big guy. There is nothing wrong with that," Carroll said. "There will be a real concerted effort to make sure he's at his very best. This is a hard time for him because he's working some rehab right now, but he is well aware of our expectations and the standards that we are setting" (see full story).
Saints: Patriots’ Butler set to visit with team
Patriots restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler has scheduled a visit with the Saints at the team's headquarters on Thursday.
New Orleans coach Sean Payton confirmed the visit Tuesday, telling The Associated Press he holds Butler in high regard and is eager to meet with him.
If the Saints sign the 27-year-old Butler to an offer, New England has the option to match it. The Patriots could also let Butler go and then receive the Saints' 11th overall draft pick this year in return.
Butler, a two-year starter, is best known for his late, goal-line interception of Seattle's Russell Wilson in the 2015 Super Bowl. He intercepted four passes last season and broke up 17. He also was credited with 63 solo or assisted tackles, including a sack.
Payton and Patriots coach Bill Belichick are friends. They not only have had their teams practice together several times during recent preseasons, but also completed a high-profile trade last week that sent receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to New England in exchange for the Patriots' first round choice -- 32nd overall -- and a third rounder (see full story).
Steelers: Team meets with LB Hightower, no deal reached
PITTSBURGH -- Coveted free agent linebacker Dont'a Hightower's tour hit Pittsburgh on Tuesday, but Hightower left the team's facility without signing a deal.
The team announced it hosted him after he spent Monday getting wooed by the New York Jets. Hightower spent most of the day at the team's headquarters, but left early in the evening without a deal imminent.
Hightower has helped the New England Patriots win a pair of Super Bowls in his five seasons with the team and is probably the best inside linebacker on the open market. The Steelers are searching for a replacement for veteran Lawrence Timmons, who signed with Miami last week after spending a productive decade with Pittsburgh.
Hightower has 372 tackles and 17 sacks since New England selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft. He provided one of the signature moments during New England's furious second-half rally against Atlanta in the Super Bowl, forcing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's fumble in the fourth quarter, helping swing the momentum to the Patriots for good on their way to a comeback 34-28 overtime victory.
The Patriots are still interested in bringing back Hightower and they have more money to spend than the Steelers. New England is more than $33 million under the cap, while the Steelers have about $18 million to spend after signing wide receiver Antonio Brown to a new five-year contract and applying the franchise tag to star running back Le'Veon Bell (see full story).