Many times, in NFL Free Agency, having connections can lead to big-money moves. For Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard, a connection with Nathaniel Hackett could lead to a bidding war for his services in March, which means more zeros in his bank account.
In an offseason where free agent receivers are in somewhat short supply, a player like Allen Lazard could benefit greatly. Lazard has 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons as one of the primary weapons in Green Bay’s offense and he’s become a top target for Aaron Rodgers in that timeframe as well.
He came into the NFL out of Iowa State in the 2018 NFL Draft and was surprisingly undrafted. Unsurprisingly, he has vastly outplayed his undrafted free agent status and is coming off of a career year in which he had 60 receptions on 100 targets for 788 yards and six touchdowns.
NFL Free Agency predictions: Where does Allen Lazard land?
There should be plenty of teams vying for Lazard’s services. Packers fans seem to want him back if possible, Chiefs fans seem to be putting him on their short lists of wide receivers to target (to reunite him with Marquez Valdes-Scantling), and Jets fans certainly understand the connection between Lazard and their new OC Nathaniel Hackett.
Hackett, of course, was on Matt LaFleur’s staff with the Green Bay Packers from 2019-2021. He wasn’t developed completely by Hackett, but Lazard got his first real shot at playing time in 2019 when Hackett came on the staff. Why would the Jets — who have Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, and Corey Davis — be looking into signing Lazard?
Well, in the coming days, we could see Davis hit free agency as a salary cap casualty. The Jets would save $10.5 million by cutting him with less than $700,000 in dead money. Lazard wouldn’t just be a one-for-one replacement on the roster, but would serve as the big slot in Hackett’s offense which he has already shown he excels in.
It’s important to note how good Lazard has been at blocking from that big slot position in the Hackett offense, and how important it is to the success of the offense, in general. It’s such a natural fit for Lazard to move from Green Bay to New York, especially with the rumors that the Packers could potentially add Aaron Rodgers in a trade.
Not that Lazard would be the determining factor, but perhaps getting him in the mix could help entice Rodgers to seek out a trade there instead of anywhere else.
This is just one of the most natural fits in 2023 NFL free agency as a whole. Lazard would be reunited with Hackett and possibly Rodgers. Lazard would get a big pay day from the Jets who will need a big-bodied receiver with blocking skills to replace the likely soon-to-be-cut Corey Davis.
There will be other teams after Lazard and nothing is done until it’s done, but don’t be surprised if this marriage ends up happening in a couple of weeks.