$44 Million Free Agent Reached Out to Jets to Sign Big Deal: Report

Garrett Wilson, Jets

Getty New York Jets players celebrating in the end zone after a huge touchdown play.

Early on Monday, March 13, David Dunn, the agent for Aaron Rodgers told the New York Jets that he wanted to play for them.

Word quickly got around the league that this pairing would eventually happen which sparked a ton of free agency conversation. Perhaps the most interesting of which caused a player to reach out to a team, as opposed to the other way around.

“Once the legal tampering period opened, Allen Lazard’s agent called Jets GM Joe Douglas and said, basically Hey we’re hearing good things. We’re hearing that you’re gonna have a new quarterback soon. We want to come,” Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated revealed in a column that was posted on Tuesday, May 9. “So that’s how Lazard became a Jet.”

Aaron Rodgers Helping Change Things for the Jets

Rodgers wasn’t even a member of the Jets and created that kind of interest.

Normally when the legal tampering period opens up, NFL teams reach out to prospective free agents to pitch them on why they should join their teams. However, the power of Rodgers was able to flip that conversation in the other direction.

Four days after Lazard’s agent reached out to the Jets they were able to come to terms on a four-year deal for $44 million. That deal also included $22 million in guarantees.

If you base the contract on what Lazard accomplished in the past, it was a clear overpay.

Lazard has never gotten over the 1,000-yard receiving plateau, hasn’t had more than 61 receptions in a single season, and hasn’t started a full NFL campaign in his career.

However the Jets or any NFL team doesn’t pay players for their respective pasts, they pay them based on what they can do in the future.

Allen Lazard Is Going to Bring Some Juice to Jets

Lazard may still struggle to reach any of those wide receiver mile markers on the Jets in 2023. Sure having Aaron Rodgers will help, but there are a lot of mouths to feed on the offensive side of the ball.

Despite that, Lazard’s gifts will surely come in handy for the green and white.

He is tied for the tallest wide receiver at 6-foot-5 to ever line up for the Jets. Lazard also has some nice weight to him at 227 pounds.

Where the former Iowa State product has truly cut his teeth at the NFL level is as a run blocker. He was an undrafted free agent back in 2018 and the thing that helped break him through was his selflessness in the run game.

That is one of the big reasons the Jets had him circled on its free agency big board. Rodgers will increase the passing game, but Gang Green wants to run the ball.

Lazard is a physical guy and the Jets have continued to say that Corey Davis will remain on the roster and he is cut from the same cloth. Having those two guys lined up wide is going to be a problem for opposing cornerbacks.

The other major benefit to Lazard’s presence on the Jets is his prior knowledge of the Nathaniel Hackett offense. He will serve as a quasi-coach on the field and off of it for the other wide receivers on the Jets roster.

Head coach Robert Saleh recently explained the benefit of having “flag planters” on the roster who can help spread the team’s message and core beliefs. Lazard will be one of those important guys on the team in 2023.

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