New York Jets fans are currently eyeing a huge domino in the trade stand-off between Aaron Rodgers and the franchise on March 14 after a new report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The NFL insider tweeted: “Jets are actively working to reach an agreement with [Green Bay] Packers’ free-agent WR Allen Lazard, per league sources. There is another team involved, and no final decision, but the Jets are trying to reunite Lazard and OC Nathaniel Hackett.”
Of course, a signing like this would also further entice Rodgers to join Gang Green — but Lazard’s arrival would impact more than just the quarterback situation.
Allen Lazard Signing Could Mean Corey Davis Cut or Trade, Aaron Rodgers Multi-Year Agreement
This would be massive get for Jets general manager Joe Douglas for a few reasons. One, Lazard is one of the top free agent WRs available and he knows Hackett’s scheme well. That’s the most basic of the pros.
The next is a bit of speculation from the opinion of ESPN’s Marcus Spears on “Get Up” this morning — March 14 (shared via Heavy on Jets reporter Paul Esden Jr.). “[Spears] believes this Allen Lazard flirtation means that Aaron Rodgers could be committing to Jets for next 2-3 years in his opinion,” Esden relayed on Twitter, adding: “Oh baby.”
One final cause and effect could impact veteran wide receiver Corey Davis. This one isn’t necessarily a pro, depending on your opinion, but it’s a near-guarantee.
The Jets cannot afford both Lazard and Davis — plus, they don’t need both with Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore on the roster. Unless Douglas elects to trade someone like Moore and restructure the vet, this signing would all but ensure that Davis is either cut or traded.
A cut would save the Jets $10.5 million in cap space according to Over the Cap. A trade could send him to Green Bay as part of a Rodgers deal.
Jets’ Price Tag on Packers WR Allen Lazard in NFL Free Agency
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to Lazard’s price. On paper, it could be similar to Davis — or slightly more due to the inflation of the market — but you can manipulate his cap value for 2023 since it’s a new contract.
Maybe they backload Lazard’s cap space, similar to deals like safety Jordan Whitehead last year or linebacker Quincy Williams this week.
Spotrac currently has Lazard at a projected market value of $12.5 million per year, estimating a three-year agreement north of $37.5 million. According to Esden, that would make him the 25th highest paid wideout in the game — a reasonable price to pay if it means securing Rodgers on a multi-year restructure.
After all, with backup plans like Jimmy Garoppolo and Mike White already out of the equation, anything Rodgers wants — he’ll get. Lazard could be the latest and most integral example of that.
If You Build It, Stars Will Come
The idea of a Jets super team has been tossed around on social media in recent days and weeks. Cornerback Sauce Gardner first hinted about a Rodgers trade being a package deal with veteran signings.
On March 13, tight end C.J. Uzomah also shared a GIF from Marvel’s Avengers, voicing: “Just cause I didn’t publicly posted anything throughout this time..doesn’t mean it wasn’t in the works and I didn’t have something cooking 😈😈 #SBLVIII”
Of course, this entire plan centers around one man — Rodgers. Until he gives the final “OK,” the Jets are left with the same uncertainty of the 2022 offseason.