MADISON, Wis. -- A Green Bay Packers mainstay will be headed to New York soon, but it's not the name many people have been anticipating.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday morning that the New York Jets were interested in former Packers wide receiver -- and favorite target of Aaron Rodgers -- Allen Lazard.
Jets are actively working to reach an agreement with Packers’ free-agent WR Allen Lazard, per league sources. There is another team involved, and no final decision, but the Jets are trying to reunite Lazard and OC Nathaniel Hackett. pic.twitter.com/rkzX17o5do— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
Tuesday afternoon, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Lazard has agreed to a contract with the Jets to a four-year contract worth more than $40 million.
Can confirm four-year deal for Allen Lazard to #Jets, as @Schultz_Report said. Jets zeroed in on him early, and now two of the top receivers in free agency (Lazard and Jakobi Meyers) have agreed to terms at more than $10M per year.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 14, 2023
Additional reports surfaced Tuesday that the Jets could also be interested in bringing in two other favorite teammates of Rodgers' -- wide receiver Randall Cobb and tight end Marcedes Lewis.
With the Jets closing in on a deal for WR Allen Lazard, another WR expected to be on their radar in the coming days of free agency is Packers’ veteran Randall Cobb, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
Packers’ veteran free-agent TE Marcedes Lewis, who spent the past five seasons in Green Bay, has drawn interest from, amongst others, the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders, per league sources— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
According to ESPN's Dianna Russini, it's no coincidence that the Jets are now showing an interest in the Packers' former pass-catchers, as they are all on a list of names Rodgers reportedly gave the Jets -- as well as former All-Pro receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who did not play last year after tearing his ACL in the Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals in January 2022.
Aaron Rodgers has provided the NY Jets with a wish-list of free agents he would like them to target and acquire, per sources. It includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and….Odell Beckham Jr.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 14, 2023
On Monday, Schefter and the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Rodgers' two options appear to be retirement or requesting a trade to the Jets.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Rodgers reportedly had not yet made a decision -- or at least had not notified the Packers and the Jets of what his decision is. Rodgers previously said he hoped to make a decision on his future before the official start of NFL free agency, which begins Wednesday afternoon -- although teams can currently negotiate with and agree to terms with free agents as of Monday.
Both teams are hoping for a decision soon, since Rodgers' salary would dictate how much money under the league's salary cap they have to work with in free agency, and many of the league's top free agents already agreed to new contracts with other teams on Monday.
Lazard was thrown to 100 times in the 2022 season, catching 60 passes for 788 yards and 6 touchdowns and 45 first downs in 15 games. A former undrafted free agent out of Iowa State, Lazard has grown into one of Rodgers' most trusted targets -- as well as a valuable blocker for the Packers' running game.
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