Rich CiminiESPN staff writer3 minute reading
FLORHAM PARK, NJ — While continuing to pursue a trade for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the New York Jets secured one of his longtime wide receivers, Allen Lazard.
The Jets and Lazard agreed to terms on a four-year, $44 million contract, a source told ESPN, confirming a report from TheScore.com. The two sides were still working on the final details early Tuesday night.
This should make Rodgers happy, as Lazard was one of the names on a free agent wish list he submitted to the Jets, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Rodgers, meanwhile, will appear on “The Pat McAfee Show” at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, possibly with news about his playing future.
Lazard will be reunited with former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who holds the same position with the Jets. Soon, there could be a double reunion, if the Jets and Packers can complete a trade for Rodgers.
Lazard, who is 6-foot-5, joins a receiving corps that includes NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and slot receiver Elijah Moore. His arrival fuels speculation that the Jets could part ways with Corey Davis, who has a non-guaranteed salary of $10.5 million in the final year of a three-year, $37.5 million contract. A whopping $10.5 million will drop from the cap if he is released or traded.
The Jets have already released backup slot receiver Braxton Berrios ($5 million in savings), leaving Denzel Mims as the top backup on the outside. They are expected to have interest in free agent receiver Randall Cobb, another longtime Rodgers teammate.
Lazard entered last season as the Packers’ de facto No. 1 receiver after the team traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. Although he didn’t put up big numbers, Lazard set career highs in catches (60) and receiving yards (788) while adding six touchdowns (the second most of his career).
Lazard, 27, played last season on his $3.96 million restricted free agent tender. It was the first time in his career that he made more than the league minimum. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars in 2018. The Packers signed him late in the 2018 season off Jacksonville’s practice squad.
He has been a prolific third-down receiver, with 52 catches for 842 yards on such downs over the past four seasons. His average of 16.2 yards per third-down catch ranked sixth among NFL players with at least 40 third-down catches in that span.
He is also known for his blocking in both the run and pass games – earning him the nickname “The Goon” from his coaches.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.