The Green Bay Packers are likely moving on from superstar quarterback Aaron Rogers this offseason, and at least one of his former teammates in Allen Lazard could be joining him on the New York Jets.
Teams, fans, and media around the football world are anxiously waiting for a trade to get done between the Jets and Packers. Although at least one report has said that a deal has already been finalized for Rodgers, there has still been no official movement despite free agency’s legal tampering period already starting.
That hasn’t stopped Rodgers from trying to lure free agents to New York, however. One of those free agents would likely be his former teammate in wide receiver Allen Lazard, who according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter is nearing an agreement to sign with the Jets.
Although Schefter mentioned that Lazard would have the chance to reunite with his former offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett, the move would also allow him to catch passes from a four-time MVP once a trade with the Packers goes through. Still, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler shared that the Jets are a fan of the former undrafted wide receiver regardless of who their quarterback is for 2023.
A Rodgers-Jets Trade Timeline
It may seem like a trade to the Jets came out of nowhere for Rodgers, but the AFC East team has been linked to the 39-year-old quarterback for months.
A potential trade kicked into gear a week before the start of the legal tampering period, with Rodgers meeting multiple times with the Jets, indicating that Green Bay and New York had entered into trade discussions.
Despite active campaigning from Jets players, no progress has been made on the trade front. However, indications from both sides have suggested that Rodgers won’t be playing for the Packers in 2023. Packers president Mark Murphy implied as much the weekend before free agency, while Rodgers said that a decision would be coming soon while speaking to Brandon Marshall at a celebrity flag football game.
Despite the implications that a deal would be happening shortly, both the Jets and Packers are anxiously waiting to dive into free agency, but can only do so much while waiting for a Rodgers move. Whether he’s still waiting to make his decision or the teams are going back and forth about compensation, a trade is almost certainly imminent to ensure that Rodgers is playing for the Jets next season.
What Can Lazard Bring to New York?
He may not be the biggest star at wide receiver, but Lazard brings a unique skill set to the Jets if they’re able to land the 27-year-old free agent.
Lazard went undrafted out of Iowa State despite a big frame at 6’5″ and 227 pounds to go along with three All-Big 12 selections for the Cyclones. After a brief stint in Jacksonville, the Packers signed him off of their practice squad and he has been in Green Bay ever since.
While he’s never had a 1,000-yard season in his NFL career, Lazard has still been able to contribute in the passing game, catching 169 passes for 2,236 yards and 20 touchdowns over his career. However, his biggest contribution has been as a blocker, clearing the way for his teammates and helping generate explosive plays on the ground.
That kind of unique skill set will be coveted by certain NFL teams, and his connection with Rodgers is likely a big reason why the Jets are trying to land him.