The offseason is off to a rocky start for Green Bay’s Letroy Guion.
The NFL announced Tuesday that the veteran Packers defensive tackle has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
Chalk it up as another off-the-field issue for Guion, 29, who was banned for the first three tilts of the 2015 campaign following his arrest for possession of marijuana and a firearm.
Inked last offseason to a three-year, $11.25 million deal, Guion — set to make $2.1 million in 2017 — is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
Playing 491 snaps last season, Guion operated as a less-than-stellar nose tackle for Green Bay’s defense, finishing the year as the league’s 63rd-ranked interior lineman, per Pro Football Focus.
“We’d love to have Eddie back,” McCarthy said. “Eddie’s working through his rehab. He’s working down at the University of Alabama. Had a chance to visit with him about a week back.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Lacy should be healthy for OTAs, per a source who has seen the running back’s injured foot.
With depth at the position in the draft and veterans being added to the free-agent heap, Lacy’s market could be undercut coming off an injury-ravaged season in which he played just five games before eventually undergoing ankle surgery.
Lacy wasn’t the only player McCarthy stumped for Wednesday. Free agent-to-be Nick Perry also earned praise.
“Nick’s a hell of a football player…” McCarthy said. “…Nick is one of our guys. He’s a powerful guy. I have a lot of love for Nick and what he’s gone through because his first couple years it was frustrating to watch him go through the injuries. Hopefully he’s someone we can get his contract worked out.”
McCarthy downplayed his comments, noting that he’d like to bring most of his players back.
“We want all of our free agents back,” he said. “They’re our guys, that’s the way we view it, from our program to them, but this is business, so cheap jersey it’s never easy.”
The last we heard from Green Bay about their interest in retaining Lacy was following their championship game loss to Atlanta when coach Mike McCarthy declared that he’d “love” to see the back return in 2017.
Complicating potential negotiations are Lacy’s recent injury and weight issues. The running back played in just five games last season due to an ankle ailment, one from which he said he’s still two months away from fully recovering.
“My healing process is four to six months, on the 26th (of February) it (was) the fourth month,” Lacy continued. “I’m going to try and go out and run, but if it’s not comfortable then I’m just going to continue doing what I’ve been doing to wholesale jerseys. But by April, whenever I have to report, I should be able to go out and do everything.”
With Le’Veon Bell under the franchise tag, Lacy is the second-best running back on Around the NFL’s Top 101 Free Agents mega-list, behind the recently-released Adrian Peterson. While he may not display the same attributes he did as a rookie, Lacy still warrants a healthy deal from Green Bay, or any other suitor. After cutting ties with James Starks jersey, Green Bay boasts just one running back on the active roster (Ty Montomgery), and he’s a converted wide receiver.
If the Packers are serious about making moves in free agency and reloading for another Super Bowl run, as Aaron Rodgers jersey clamored for following the Falcons loss, then locking up Lacy and developing a more consistent ground game should be a high priority.