Packers Fans, Analysts React to Taunting Fine: ‘The NFL is Stealing Money’

Getty Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard was fined over $10,000 for taunting in Week 16.

The Green Bay Packers are rolling after their upset win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 16, but fans are upset over a controversial fine given to Allen Lazard stemming from his biggest play of the game.

During the 26-20 victory over the Dolphins, Lazard helped Aaron Jones spring free for a big run by blocking and knocking down three Miami players at the same time. As Jones took off, Lazard celebrated the block by pointing at all three players he knocked down.

According to Pro Football Talk, the pointing was seen as taunting by the league, which hit Lazard with a $10,609 fine. Fans and analysts alike took to Twitter after the news broke to criticize the NFL for punishing Lazard.

“Stupid No Fun League,” Acme Packing Company editor Tex Western tweeted. “That was hilarious and awesome. I hate this league sometimes.”

“No Fun League in full effect,” one fan said.

“At least he got 3 for the price of 1,” former Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert tweeted.

“Why are you the way you are, @nfl?” Pack-A-Day’s Andy Herman shared.

Frank Schwab with Yahoo! Sports gave an even stronger reaction to the fine, explaining the absurdity of Lazard being fined in his workplace for something so harmless.

“Yep, this is where I point out again that the NFL is stealing money from its players in broad daylight,” Schwab said. “Five figures for pointing and counting. Cool ten grand for that. Totally  reasonable in a functional workplace.”

Will Allen Lazard Be with Green Bay in 2023?

Lazard has been one of the biggest hidden gems discovered in the Brian Gutekunst era. However, it’s unclear if the Packers wide receiver will return in 2023.

Coming out of Iowa State, Lazard was an undrafted free agent before signing on with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018. The young receiver was cut shortly after, however, but the Packers quickly scooped him up given his size and production with the Cyclones.

It wasn’t until 2019 where Lazard finally got his opportunity to shine, appearing in all 16 games while hauling in three touchdowns over the season. That breakout year has helped Lazard stay around in Green Bay, embracing a role as a dominant blocker and reliable third-down target.

However, Lazard’s time in Green Bay may be coming to an end. The 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023, and with the emergence of young rookie receivers like Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, Lazard could be expendable.

That being said, it’s hard for any wide receiver to replicate Lazard’s ability as a blocker, which could make it difficult for the Packers to let him play elsewhere in 2023 and beyond.

Who Could the Packers Replace Lazard With?

If Lazard were to leave, the Packers would need to get creative with options to replace his skill set.

As much as some Packers fans are calling for a Davante Adams reunion, that scenario is unlikely given his contract and desire to play closer to his family on the west coast. The Packers could also look into adding a slot receiver replacement in the 2023 draft like USC’s Jordan Addison, although they’d be losing the size and blocking advantage that Lazard brings.

A big-bodied tight end with pass-catching ability might make more sense as a Lazard replacement, simply because they’d be more effective blockers. Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer would be the best-case scenario at tight end, but the Packers would need to be willing to spend a first-round pick to get him.

Replacing Lazard won’t be easy, but Gutekunst has found creative ways to replace star talent in the past.

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