Should Packers give Lazard a long-term contract?

The case for and against giving Allen Lazard a long-term deal this offseason.

The state of Green Bay’s wide receiver corps has been discussed ad nauseam for what feels like forever, but no more so than this offseason.

The departures of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling thrust the position into realms of uncertainty, with the Packers relying on a new crop of rookies to supplement veterans Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and Amari Rodgers.

Lazard has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender ahead of the 2022 season, which will pay him just short of $4million. This has led some observers to wonder whether a long-term deal could be in the works instead. Regardless of whether that’s true, is this something the Packers should be looking into?

In a wide receiver room filled with question marks, Lazard is Green Bay’s only sure thing right now. He is beloved by coaches and MVP quarterbacks alike, and it is no easy feat to find someone who fits what Matt LaFleur wants from his receivers and also has the trust of Aaron Rodgers.

So, how much would a Lazard extension cost? Spotrac shows his market value to be around $7.75million per year. A contract averaging that amount would make Lazard the 34th highest-paid receiver in the NFL; essentially, a premium WR2.

Green Bay has a good sense of what it has in Lazard, and he is unlikely to make the team look stupid for giving him a contract at that value. Will he ever be a true WR1? Probably not, but who knows? There is a chance he thrives in a more central role without Adams and ends up outperforming the contract.

Lazard doesn’t turn 27 until December, so signing him to a three or even four-year deal could be a sensible move for the Packers to ensure some much-needed continuity at the position in the coming seasons.

However, it is unlikely to be as straightforward as this, and the entire concept of extending Lazard’s stay is based on the presumption he will accept a ‘reasonable’ offer.

He will have no doubt taken note of some of the contracts handed out to wide receivers this offseason, with Christian Kirk’s $18million-per-year deal the biggest eyebrow-raiser. Lazard may want to play out this season and hope to boost his value further before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Likewise, the Packers may prefer to take a wait-and-see approach before giving Lazard the bag.

The receiver has never seen more than 60 targets in a season or topped 513 yards. While there is an argument he could improve without Adams hogging targets, there is also the chance the presence of Adams was making it easier for Lazard to get open as he faced less attention from opposing defenses.

Ultimately, the question is whether Lazard and the Packers want the security of knowing he will be in town for the foreseeable future, or if both parties are happy to enter 2022 knowing it could be Lazard’s final year in Green Bay.

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Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW

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5 points

Comments (63)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
greengold's picture

May 22, 2022 at 01:41 pm

Absolutely! Sign Lazard UP!!!

He’s so underrated. In two years his long-term deal will look like a bargain. He’s probably going to walk into TC Day 1 with all the fanfare of his newly signed deal.

If anybody has earned it, it’s Allen Lazard.

40 receptions on 60 Targets (50 Catchable Targets) for 513 yds, 12.8 YPR. 4.2 YAC. 28 1D.

80% True Catch% with a 1.7% Drop% (1). 8 receptions on 16 Red Zone Targets.

Highly efficient and presents a good Target at 6-5 225. Target Accuracy when thrown to by AR is 7.5. QB Rating per Target is 132.8.

He’s as big a “QB’s Best Friend,” as anybody on this Packers team. With all the speed added with this rookie class of WRs pulling Safety help, I could easily see Lazard’s receptions totals nearly double on the underneath stuff, putting him in that 1000 yd WR category fo 2022.

The blocking he brings to the running game is immeasurable.

Right now, the Packers can leverage his 2021 numbers - saving some money. That won’t be the case after this season.

10 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

May 22, 2022 at 03:24 pm

Very well researched and thought out comment. I am in total agreement with you.

0 points
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NitschkeFan's picture

May 22, 2022 at 04:34 pm

Those are some interesting numbers greengold, and you certainly are a Packers fan as on almost every post you write something very very positive about the team and its players. Bless you for that as the internet tends to be a gathering place for trolls and losers.

So I hate to point out that my opinion is very different than yours as I don't like siding with those trolls and losers.

Stats? He has now been in the NFL for 4 seasons. His grand total of TD receptions ..... 14. That's over 4 seasons.

Over the past 3 years, his yards receiving 477, 451, 513 (he is of course injured every season), while he was not the primary concern of the DB's (as they were obviously more interested in Davante). My hypothesis is that opponent DB's have no one to double team when the Packers offense is on the field now, so Lazard and everyone else will have more attention than they are use to.

The "eye" test - he is "slow as molasses in February".

I hope he can stay healthy and contribute but I would be surprised if he ever became more than WR#3 in his NFL career. With good health and perhaps no one else to throw to, then maybe he can become a WR#2. But between Lazard, Watkins and Cobb it feels like we need to pitch a medical tent in the WR meeting room.

6 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:06 pm

Did your "eye" test tell you Davante was as "slow as molasses in February" too"?

Lazard's 40 time...4.55
Adam's 40 time...4.56
Jerry Rice's 40 time...4.71
Larry Fitz,s 40 time...4.63

40 times are so overrated. Knowing how to run your routes and get open aren't. Lazard catches pretty much everything thrown his way. Career 68.6 completion percentage.

As far as your "medical tent" remark, He's had one fairly significant injury I'm aware of in 4 years.

You've acknowledged he is a legitimate #3 and could ascend to a legitimate #2 under ideal conditions. I'm pretty sure teams need dependable #2 and #3 receivers. You can't have a receiving core made up of 4 or 5 #1's.

He reminds me of James Jones for some reason. Not a lot of flash, but shows up every game and does a lot of the dirty work the prima donna WRs won't. Sign the man while he's still relatively affordable. He's more than deserved it.

-2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:22 pm

Now compare Lazard's footwork off the line to Adams. It's pretty easy to see why Lazard sometimes struggles with separation and why got snaps from the slot quite a bit.

4 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:52 pm

I'm not suggesting he's as good as Adams. That would be ridiculous. I'm just saying he's a legitimate NFL receiver. You can't have 5 Davante Adams on your roster.

As far as his footwork and struggling to get separation, if it's so terrible, why is he catching close to 70% of the passes thrown his way? He has a legitimate role on this team, particularly his blocking skills that don't show up in the box scores.

I hope they find a way to keep him at a reasonable cost. Successful teams need unsung players like Lazard on their team.

I'll freely acknowledge I don't spend hours a day on various websites researching players arm lengths and 3 cone speeds like some posters on here, nor do I want to, but after watching NFL games for the past 50+ years, I think I can recognize a football player when I see one. Allen Lazard is a football player.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 23, 2022 at 11:23 am

Key Word: Receiver. He catches the damn ball with his hands and moves the chains. He is a guy who should be
better positioned this season--no worries. Sign him.

2 points
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coolhand's picture

May 23, 2022 at 02:58 pm

Well his footwork was fine against SF in the playoff game and was WIDE OPEN yet the diva didn't even look for him.

0 points
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AnotherPackFan's picture

May 23, 2022 at 08:04 am

13Time, you have obviously not been watching football if you are comparing Lazard with Adam's, Jerry Rice and Larry Fitz. Wow is that a dumb take. Please check your prescriptions and get them re-filled.

Whatever time's they ran as 21 year old's in their underwear, those other fellows had much better explosiveness, footwork and route running than Lazard has ever shown. Lazard has been in the NFL for 4 season's and you are comparing what you have seen from him with Jerry Rice? D. Adams? Larry Fiztgerald?

As for the medical tent, Lazard has missed 3 or 4 games each of the past three seasons.

-2 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:06 am

Try actually comprehending what you're reading before commenting on it. I wasn't comparing Lazard's overall skill set to those players. In fact, I even said it would be ridiculous to compare him to Adams. I didn't think I would need to explain this, but I was simply responding to another post about Lazard being as slow as molasses, and that you don't need to be a speed burner to be an effective NFL receiver. Sorry you weren't bright enough to figure that out.

As far as him missing 3 or 4 games EACH of the past three seasons, the past 3 years he has played in 16, 10, and15 games. As they say...look it up.

2 points
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AnotherPackFan's picture

May 23, 2022 at 11:55 am

OK my bad, I looked at the wrong column and was wrong about his active games. And yes on careful reading your post you admit he is no Davante Adams.

But I still agree with the other poster who sees Lazard as a slow WR and I do too. Of course there is room for a WR#3 on every roster so I am not advocating he be cut, but the article seems to imply that he wants a big contract. The salary cap seems like a pretty flexible thing in recent years but IMHO Lazard isn't worth more than WR#3 money (whatever the NFL market dictates that is).

The only other quible I have is that whenever someone mentions "slow" someone always brings up Jerry Rice as if that proves some point. I watched plenty of Rice's games and despite some stopwatch combine time he clocked as a kid, he was not slow. He moved past DB's with his combination of speed, agility and football sense. When people write that a guy like Lazard "looks slow", they are not wrong just because his combine time was around Jerry Rice's time (in 1985). Sorry despite anyone's fondness for a stopwatch, guys like Lazard should not appear in the same sentence as Jerry Rice or Larry Fitzgerald. Ever. Like Never.

0 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

May 22, 2022 at 08:01 pm

Sadly, he's a glorified tight end. A nice player, but he'll never be a #2 receiver. Is he worth that money as a tight end, now that's an interesting question.

They just drafted a slew of talent at the wideout position, time to get younger, faster, cheaper.

if he somehow has a great season, someone else can overpay him.

-2 points
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dobber's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:25 am

I tend to agree with you: Lazard is a possession, #3 WR. That's his best fit. How much do you pay that guy?

Lazard's not a TE and won't be one. He ran a lot of Tonyan's routes after Tonyan got hurt, but none of those were "TE routes". Tonyan ran the majority of his routes out of the slot and split wide (not so much with his hand on the ground or lined up "tight")...those are the routes Lazard ran. In that sense, Tonyan was a WR...as Lazard would be.

0 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 22, 2022 at 05:41 pm

Nailed it GG. Well done!!

1 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

May 22, 2022 at 12:19 pm

I struggle with this one. I've been pretty pro-Lazard ever since he got here, in a way that I never was pro-MVS. The problem is that I just haven't seen enough production to make me convinced he is a clear WR2, let alone a "premium" WR2. And the Packers just invested a bunch of picks this year, and a R3 pick last year, at the position. Two or more of those guys may very well be ready to produce at a high level next year, when Lazard might depart in FA. Then there is the cap situation. The Packers can only keep kicking the can down the road so far and for so many guys. They are already over the cap for 2023, which includes a bunch of guys who will be on void years (Amos, Lowrey, Reed, Cobb, Lewis, and Tonyan) - which I mean believes we are paying them NOT to play. You also have to put real bodies on the roster at all of those positions. So my gut says, "no." Let him play out the year and then allow him to depart in FA next year if he can get better money elsewhere.

5 points
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PatrickGB's picture

May 22, 2022 at 02:09 pm

Mark, I agree and think that he should get a contract. I like the kid. The price for WR’s is skyrocketing so get him signed for a couple of more years if only as a hedge against the possibility of injury to others. He knows the system and can block better than most receivers. He has value if only for the short term.

2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

May 22, 2022 at 05:48 pm

OTC puts his worth at $5.3 million which to me is more in line with where he should be valued. If he'd accept a 3 yr deal in the neighborhood of $16.5 million with an easy out for the team after 2 years in exchange for some cash up front it's probably worth it given his value as a blocker. I doubt he would take that deal though given the exploding WR contracts and his opportunity to have a bigger year in 2022. There's bigger, slower WRs in the draft every year, some are better blockers than others. If Watson and Doubs play well this year and Lazard leaves for another team so be it. If either or both of them struggle they may end up having to pay him quite a bit more. It's a gamble worth taking to me and if he ends up having a career year they can always extend him during the season. As it is he'll be getting a little less than twice what he's been paid the previous 4 years altogether, a pretty good raise.

Void years shouldn't be looked at as paying players not to play but rather as money that has Already been paid that just hasn't been applied to the cap yet. It's Russ Ball's new favorite toy that he's using a bit too often(Kevin King) IMO but was necessary in quite a few instances. In any case the money has been paid, sooner or later it has to be accounted for.

1 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

May 23, 2022 at 08:05 am

There has always been dead money when guys were cut who weren't performing and there was still some signing bonus on the deal. The Packers were one of the better teams at avoiding dead cap money. Void years are like dead cap money on steroids. Instead of going into the deal hoping to avoid dead money, you are going into the deal with a high risk of having dead money. That is why I referred to it as paying players not to play. Maybe the phrasing doesn't quite capture the proper view of the player, but you are paying somebody who, without a new deal, will not be playing for the Packers, and you know it going in.

1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:18 pm

With you on all points Mark. At minimum let him prove it!

0 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:19 pm

Every team in todays NFL is paying someone not to play. That where the game is at.

That being said, I am all for signing Lazard. The dude does whatever is asked of him. He is the epitome of what you want in a player. Unselfish hard working 6'5" player with decent speed and good hands that will enthusiastically block the snot out of his opponent.

What's not to like :)

2 points
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murf7777's picture

May 23, 2022 at 08:34 am

Excellent points Mark and I might add, “dime a dozen”. I really like him, but there are many Lazards out there.

-2 points
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Somedumbname's picture

May 22, 2022 at 12:47 pm

We have to wait and see what we have with our other receivers. This decision should be made after this season imo.

4 points
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dobber's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:44 am

The Packers will know more about what they have with the rookies and AmRod by the time we get to week 10 or so...the odds say that of those four guys, you'll be lucky to have more than two turn into quality players. Watkins and Cobb won't be back in 2023...that's a lot of open seats in the WR room. My bet is that the decision on Lazard will be made before the season is up, and if they want to keep him, they'll try to sign him well before they have to bid on him on the open market.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 22, 2022 at 01:04 pm

He’s missed 8 of the last 33 games. I’d wait and see what he does this year..

-3 points
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ricky's picture

May 22, 2022 at 01:36 pm

Sign him to a contract that is more front loaded. If you wait, it'll end up costing a lot more money, because it seems he is more likely to outperform his contract than regress. He could well be the new Jordy Nelson for Rodgers to throw to when things break down, or when the team needs to get a longer first down. This is not a suggestion that Lazard give the team a discount; he doesn't owe the team anything, and they would cut him without hesitation if he regresses.

4 points
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wildbill's picture

May 22, 2022 at 01:59 pm

With the addition of young WRs in the last two drafts I would be inclined to see how he performs this year. The question that has been asked is how far will he rise up now that Adams is gone. I’m too lazy to look it up but wonder how he played in the games that Adams missed. Did he rise to a #1 type receiver? That being said I do like his hustle/blocking and he does have good hands and would not be upset if he is retained after this year if he plays well

3 points
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PatrickGB's picture

May 22, 2022 at 02:03 pm

He is a good but not great WR#2-3. He was undrafted and thought to a possible fit at TE. He is a tweener and a tough hard nosed player. In some ways he is an overachiever. I like him. Yet if we had a few true #1 WR’s we would not be having this conversation. Right now I want to keep him and do so without a doubt. I agree that he has a role this year and probably the next but after that I am not sure. I expect that the front office will pay him accordingly. Give him a real contract but don’t overpay.

2 points
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jont's picture

May 22, 2022 at 02:29 pm

I don't know anything about NFL salaries other than they are really big, but I do remember the consensus view of cheeseheads and commentators on Lazard: "Not a #2".

So when I read that "a contract averaging that (spotrac) amount would make Lazard the 34th highest-paid receiver in the NFL-- essentially, a premium WR2," I think he's not worth it.

That said, I don't know if spotrac considers his specific value to this team. That is, he plays a role at WR that prioritizes more than catches and yards. Good blocking, not just average or sometimes, but good blocking from wide-outs is key to a lot of core offensive plays. Maybe GB will pay him this part?

2 points
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MarkHayes's picture

May 22, 2022 at 05:17 pm

I believe this young man has the want to... to be GREAT! He out played ESB by far and that's why he is a bear(TBSS) SO with that they should negotiate a contract that has the ability to modify with bonuses or whatever...

5 points
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HarryHodag's picture

May 22, 2022 at 05:23 pm

Here's a question to ask: if Lazard leaves after this season who will take his place? Or do the Packers have a perpetual opening at WR?

There is absolutely no guarantee that Watson will work out. There is no guarantee that Amari R. will work out, or Sammy Watkins.

We KNOW Lazard can compete. The problem that most of you missed is Aaron Rodgers' love affair on the field with D. Adams. All you need to remember is when the game was on the line in January against San Fran, Rodgers tried to force the ball to Adams who was double covered. Lazard ran underneath, uncovered, and might have scored if Rodgers didn't ignore him. I suspect this happened a lot.

Lazard might be the teams best option this year and 2023. I would offer him a contract shorter than five years but he's earned some respect for playing hard inside the Aaron Rodgers circus.

5 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 22, 2022 at 07:36 pm

The fact he hasn't signed his tender yet makes me wonder if he doesn't want to play with Rodgers anymore.

0 points
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dobber's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:36 am

If he doesn't sign the tender, he's relying on the Packers to rescind it in order to play in 2022. That likely means a vet minimum contract with a new team that's likely already settled its depth chart in 2022. Not a way to cement a longer-term deal and some job security. In GB, he's in line to play a lot of snaps with a high-end QB and a void at the top of the WR depth chart. Who knows whether these two guys actually like each other or not, but from a "gettin' a big contract" and maximizing his future in the league, his best chance at least is to play out this season on the tender and see where he ends up.

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 24, 2022 at 03:11 am

And the rules are stacked against that scenario. GB can issue a June 15th tender if he doesn't sign the RFA tender. The June 15th tender is worth $935K versus the RFA tender of $3.98M.

And no, Lazard doesn't become a free agent if he sits out 2022. It tolls. So he might do that report by week 10 stuff. Not really a good option for him here other than signing the RFA tender or negotiating a long-term deal.

2 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 23, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Rodgers was the one who advocated for Lazard to get playing time. I've seen nothing that would indicate that there are any issues between Lazard and AR.

3 points
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Swisch's picture

May 22, 2022 at 07:49 pm

Good stuff, Harry.
Maybe sign Lazard for something like four years for a total of $40 million.
Let him know he is highly valued and truly appreciated.
In one way or another, Lazard would be a big part of our offense for the next couple of seasons or longer.
P.S. Put me down for Lazard and Amari Rodgers having very good seasons in 2022 with at least 50 receptions apiece.

-3 points
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stockholder's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:39 pm

As long as he can remain in the spotlight. You pay him. (Year to Year. ) Long Term - No. We didn't draft 3 Wrs without wanting More separation.

0 points
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HarryHodag's picture

May 23, 2022 at 05:36 pm

Two of the receivers are low-round picks and to see them as the next coming of D. Adams is a stretch.

You don't have to be a highlight reel to contribute. I can't forget that the Packers recently won seven games without Adams.

0 points
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PatrickGB's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:42 pm

Harry, I agree. He seems to be a model for the other players. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t coach.

3 points
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HarlanHuckleby's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:56 pm

If the Packers think they can find another alien on the street that also happens to be a lizard they can be my guest.

2 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 22, 2022 at 07:35 pm

For now, I'll settle fot him signing his free agent tender lol

4 points
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dobber's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:38 am

Absolutely. I think that's the best path forward for both parties.

0 points
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greengold's picture

May 22, 2022 at 08:56 pm

Please, someone, anyone, accurately describe what makes a legit #2WR…

I hear this argument all over the place and I find it laughable.

I know black holes are difficult to see with the naked eye, but, FFS, he wore #17 for years in Green Bay. WR numbers for anyone not wearing #17 were severely skewed. In Allen Lazard’s case, for the last two years, without question.

It’s not that he’s not fast enough. Doesn’t catch enough. Isn’t reliable enough.

In 2015, Davante Adams had 20 1D and 1 TD in 94 Targets…

In 2021, Allen Lazard had 28 1D and 8 TD in 60 Targets.

In 2021 Davante Adams had 169 Targets. Hear that giant sucking sound? If you listen closely you can still hear it over the Bay.

Adams also had 169 Targets in 15 games in 2018, 127 in 12 games in 2019, and 149 in 14 games in 2020.

While Lazard’s 4.55 40 time is in the 48th percentile, his Speed Score is in the 88th percentile, his Burst Score in the 74th percentile, and his Catch Radius in the 75th percentile amongst all NFL WRs.

Allen’s reliable as hell, with a True Catch% on 50 Catchable Targets = 80%. His QB Rating per Target is 132.8… Lazard gained 2.2 yds Separation Per Target last year.

Just watch this kid explode in 2022. ESPECIALLY with our new SPEED commanding S help in Watson, Doubs & Toure. Allen Lazard is going to catch all kinds of stuff underneath, in single coverage, in the intermediate windows.

6 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 22, 2022 at 08:49 pm

I’ve asked the same question, and the answer is “something that Lazard isn’t”.

I look at it this way. Remember when we had fullbacks, like William Henderson, whose job was to block and catch a pass or two? Lazard is a fullback who lines up wide, or in the slot. His job is to block. (Or be a decoy) and catch a pass or two. He’s good at his job.

2 points
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greengold's picture

May 22, 2022 at 09:21 pm

LOL! I mean, give me a freaking break with that garbage. Right?

Allen Lazard played a role in our offense. A number of roles, actually. Watch him blast over 1000 yds this season.

Lazard is both phenomenal & under appreciated. He also had arguably better numbers last season than Jordy Nelson had in 2010. Was Jordy a #4 WR that year? Why, or why not?

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 22, 2022 at 10:00 pm

I think you might have misinterpreted. I like Lazard, always have. I think his role in this offense is comparable with William Henderson, who I always liked . Block, and catch a few passes. He’s like a fullback who lines up in the slot and is a real good receiver.

-1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 23, 2022 at 11:45 am

Absurd. A Fullback works from the backfield and delivers the spike at the point of attack from full gallop. LaFleur seems to forget about the importance of a lead dog clearing the gap. Dafney is not the guy. The TEs hold the Edge and try to beat the LB or slow down a DE. A WR in the WCO block DBs downfield and leverage defenders with screening techniques. Lazard was the second most reliable set of hands from the WR group. He will have over 50 catches this year and probably best his 8 TDs from last season. No Comparison to William or Kuhn or whomever.

-1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 23, 2022 at 06:00 pm

So if you line up in the backfield and block at the point of attack, you're a fullback, and if you line up in the slot, or out wide, and block at the point of attack, you're not.

Total comparison to our fullbacks of yesteryear. On most plays they block, and they get a few targets. Same as Lazard.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 23, 2022 at 06:00 pm

So if you line up in the backfield and block at the point of attack, you're a fullback, and if you line up in the slot, or out wide, and block at the point of attack, you're not.

Total comparison to our fullbacks of yesteryear. On most plays they block, and they get a few targets. Same as Lazard.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

May 23, 2022 at 02:49 pm

There is a reason MVS, ESB left and a reason DA left. MVS and ESB will be better elsewhere and so will Lazard.
I don't think that changes unless AR changes and that means he'd have to admit it to himself. Even if AR watched the double covered DA and 2 other wide open WR's he would make the same poor decision in the playoffs. Lazard will never be what he could be in GB. Unless he becomes the new DA.....

0 points
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jont's picture

May 24, 2022 at 04:38 pm

In my usage, a #2 is a WR who threatens a defense enough to draw significant attention of the secondary. GB didn't have such a player last season, and in my view Lazard's body of work does not suggest he'll be that guy this season.

The Vikes have Thielen and Jefferson, Evans and Godwin are in Tampa Bay, the Raiders paired Davante with Hunter Renfrow who got 1,100 yards last year, the Bengals' Ja’Marr Chase over shadows Tee Higgins, the Rams added Allen Robinson to Cooper Kupp, and Tyreek Hill went to Miami to join Jaylen Waddle.

These are exceptional pairings, to be sure, in which the #2 would be #1 on a lot of teams, but the point is clear: a dangerous #2 makes for a helluva of a weapon.

Look, I like Lazard but let's not kid ourselves. On paper this receiver room is somewhere between average and unproven. 12 will make them better than this, we hope and expect, but this does not make Lazard worth major WR money.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2022 at 02:59 am

Nice. Jennings and Driver were both #1 WRs, though not top #1s. Having James Jones was icing - he was a good #3 and many thought of him as a low end #2. Then it was Nelson and Jennings. Then Nelson and Cobb. Then Nelson and Adams for a year or two. Adams, Lazard and MVS isn't the same trio as above, but it wasn't terrible.

1 points
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GregC's picture

May 22, 2022 at 08:58 pm

I think Lazard will put up bigger numbers this year, without Davante Adams getting so much attention. If I was him, I would play out the last year of the contract and hope for a much better payday after the season is over. If I were the Packers, I would seriously consider signing Lazard to the kind of deal that is mentioned in the article. Is he one of the better #2 WRs in the league? No. But in a year or two, the deal will be in line with the kind of player he is, and he very well may outperform it. He may even outperform it this year. I could easily see him emerging in much the same way Donald Driver did when he was given the chance.

4 points
4
0
SanLobo's picture

May 22, 2022 at 09:00 pm

He’s a great role receiver. He has excellent hands, blocks unselfishly, has great physicality, and has Rodgers trust. Give him a three year, incentives laden contract. He’s earned it,

5 points
5
0
Johnblood27's picture

May 22, 2022 at 09:17 pm

I really thought that JMonn, ESB and MVS had stabilized the GBP WR room for years to come...

The smart play is to pay Lazard his restricted FA money this season and when there is a clear idea of where the newbies slot in the NFL (may happen in camp, may happen during the season, may happen after the season is over, may not happen until FA period next year).

I like Lazard, I cannot believe he wasn't drafted out of Iowa State, he was stud there, but... the NFL is a pay for play league with a salary cap, you can't just go around throwing contracts at everyone that shows a little something before you really have to. That is the business side of the salary cap era.

1 points
2
1
NoNonsense's picture

May 22, 2022 at 10:24 pm

Was waiting to hear from Lazard about this season and he finally spoke on the subject. He sounds like hes in a good place. Seems eager to see what life is like post Devante. Understands there will be a redistribution of targets and is excited about the possibilities for himself and this new group of WRs. He will be a great mentor for the young guys so I hope he wants to be a part of this team long term.

I'm all for giving him the contract MVS got or close to it right now. I think he's gonna blow up this year if he stays healthy so they better get in before his price tag gets ridiculous.

There is a rumor he wants to go to Denver after this year so theres no guarantee he would even sign a contract extension at this point. If I was him I would bet on myself, play out the year on the tender and let the chips fall where they may next year, as an unrestricted FA. Rodgers recent retirement dance will most certainly effect his decision making when it comes to signing long term I would think.

If he does sign a longer deal here that could be a vote of confidence in Jordan Love. Guess we will see how it all works out. The future is uncertain but change is the one constant in the NFL and thats certainly part of my excitement for this season.

2 points
3
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 23, 2022 at 02:32 am

Denver does not seem like a great destination for Lazard in 2023. They have Courtland Sutton ($25M dead in 2023) signed through 2025, Tim Patrick who they just signed through 2024, and Jerry Jeudy, who is signed through 2023, plus KJ Hamler, who missed practically all of 2021 and was nothing to write home about due to lots of drops and a low catch percentage as a rookie in 2020. I don't think any of those guys are great but they might look better with Russell Wilson instead of Bridgewater (14 games) and Drew Lock (3 games).

Lazard looks like a #3 WR to me. As such, something in the area of 3/$21M tacked onto his RFA year is fine.

5 points
5
0
PhantomII's picture

May 23, 2022 at 06:08 am

If he can be more than a #3 WR. In my eyes he has never reclaimed the trajectory he was on before the core injury. AR not throwing to him is part of th problem.....He has pretty good hands and in ML offense does the required blocking. When Watson / Watkins speed hits the field it should open a lot of folks that are not as fast.

1 points
2
1
mrtundra's picture

May 23, 2022 at 08:32 am

Lazard is GB's toughest, best blocking, WR on their roster. Of course, we need to sign him, and I think they will, right before camp. You naysayers, who have never been on the Allen Lazard bandwagon can drop your disdain and support this guy! That he wasn't targeted much, wasn't his fault. Rodgers didn't throw him the ball and instead would throw the ball to a double covered Davante, with mixed results. If Rodgers would have thrown the ball to Lazard, who was open, in the 49ers game, we would have moved the chains and gotten a fresh set of downs and maybe even would have won that game. But ARod threw an incompletion to a double-covered Adams and we punted the ball away. That's not on Lazard, that's on ARod, and to some degree, MLF.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:52 am

Part of why ESB and Lazard were open underneath was because Adams cleared the middle of the field by carrying a CB and two safeties with him downfield. The question becomes: how open will Lazard be running his drags and short-mid outs without #17 drawing attention and with defenses playing to keep everything in front of them...at least until the Packers can get defenses to respect them deep?

2 points
2
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 24, 2022 at 03:26 am

I confess to never having been a fan of Lazard's. Still, I can see 3 years @ $7M plus his RFA year, so 4/$25M. He has his uses and does what he does pretty well.

That probably works out to a $6M singing bonus ($1.2 or $1.5M proration), plus the minimum of $965K, so GB can pick up somewhere between $1.4M to $1.7M in cap savings for 2022. His cap number never reaches $9M, not even in 2025 when it might look cheap. Something like cap #s of $2.5M, $6.5M, $7.5M and $8.5M. With those numbers, Lazard's cap hits never reach 3% of the cap.

0 points
0
0
BAMABADGER's picture

May 23, 2022 at 09:14 am

Lazard would have been significantly more productive last season had our MVP not forced the ball in critical game situations to a certain wide receiver. Perhaps the loss of DA will help Mr. Rodgers bring out his inner Tom Brady and finally bring home another Lombardi trophy.

1 points
1
0
LambeauPlain's picture

May 23, 2022 at 12:09 pm

I agree with G&G. Lazard is a prolific WR when targeted. He moves the chains. And he is WR#1 when he is not targeted. He is an outstanding blocker...best in the WR room for a few years now and will be again this year. This also helps move the chains! If you don't block you do not win games.

Rather than valuing him on a per catch basis, evaluate Allen on a per play basis. Combining his receptions and blocking contributions, he is probably one of the most valuable contributors on the O.

He is, by all accounts, a tremendous teammate and will be a mentor to the young men in the WR room. And he is a leader. I am certain this has happened before...but last year was the first time I read a player went to the HC and begged to be put on STs to help out.

I think the reason he has not signed his tender is he knows the Packers are working on a long term deal. He has earned it and past results indicate he will keep up his end of the bargain. Sign him up!

1 points
2
1
greengold's picture

May 24, 2022 at 09:43 am

Being that slow time hours before voluntary OTAs open to the media today, I’ve been left thinking a lot about Lazard, and how he’s apparently perceived here as a solid #3 WR.

Couple days ago I compared Lazard’s & Jordy Nelson’s stats, just to get a sense of where he might be registering in his development to begin his year 4. In no way am I saying he’s Jordy. No one is Jordy. Damn, that guy was fun in games and in practice. He was a riot in practice.

Anyhow, we can readily point to their 40 times, where Jordy was a freakish burner at 6-3 217 as a kind of go-to separator thru their first 3 seasons.

Lazard is 6-5 227, and I wish I could recall where I saw it, but there is a quotient/factor that can be applied to these bigger players and their “slower,” 40 times, which accounts for their longer strides and the amount of ground they can cover in fewer steps. Point is, Lazard is actually pretty fast for his size.

While Lazard’s 40 time is in the 46th percentile, his speed score is in the 88th, and his burst score is in the 74th percentiles. Play speed is almost always king.

Statistically, Lazard’s numbers are about as good or better than Jordy’s in their Year 3 (for Jordy 2010). Certainly comparable in terms of Targets, YPC, 1D and Catch%.

What I’m getting at is both were incredibly efficient, productive and reliable with 60 AL and 64 JN Targets.

Was sparked to revisit this after studying some advanced stat metrics last night on Watson, Doubs & Toure, realizing some remarkable traits in their draft class rankings - and how they might positively affect Allen Lazard’s numbers altogether this season. How much single coverage does Rodgers’ QB’s Best Friend realize in 2022?

Lazard’s QB Passer Rating per Target is a whopping 132.8. Already…

Damn, if Watson’s, Doubs’ & Toure’s numbers translate to their NFL rookie seasons, all 3 should be considered immense steals.

WROPS pairs Catch% and YPR, identifying high-level producers (Is the Catch% good considering the yds gained per reception?) Doubs was #11, a very good. Watson didn’t have the required 50 receptions to be ranked here.

The other is more of a productivity measurement (WROPS) with RAS, to give us WRAPS (Does the prospect have the production and athletic ability to be elite?) This has proven to be a pretty reliable indicator of whether a prospect has what it takes to be an elite NFL WR. (You can find this article at ACME Packers).

Watson ranked #1 in the entire draft class. AND, Toure ranked #21… ahead of Treylon Burks!!!

Point is, Lazard has some serious talent he’ll be lining up with, and what can he do with another 36 Targets? His opportunities will increase, and that could vault him into the realm of some of Jordy’s best years.

If Lazard can get 1100-1200 yds, that would be a comparable leap to what Jordy made in his Year 4. Hard to fathom, but, maybe not.

Whew. Just found it interesting.

1 points
1
0