Allen Lazard

Jets Unlikely To Cut WR Allen Lazard, Could Extend CB Michael Carter II

We saw reports a couple weeks ago that the Jets would be open to trading away wide receiver Allen Lazard. One thing that’s become more than clear, though, is that New York won’t likely be cutting him anytime soon, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini.

The former undrafted free agent out of Iowa State signed a big four-year, $44MM contract to follow his quarterback from Green Bay to New York last year. After said quarterback was lost for the year, Lazard went on to put up his worst season since his rookie year. After seeing Lazard step up in 2022 as the Packers’ WR1 following Davante Adams‘ departure, the Jets were hoping Lazard would bring similar success returning to the WR2 role behind Garrett Wilson. While Lazard did just perform as the team’s WR2, he severely underperformed, catching 23 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown while getting outgained by running back Breece Hall and tight end Tyler Conklin.

One may shrug off that lack of production due to Aaron Rodgersseason-ending injury, but that excuse doesn’t lessen the impact of Lazard’s contract. With Lazard holding a $12.18MM cap hit in 2024, the Jets can hardly afford for the 28-year-old to repeat last year’s disappointment. Unfortunately, though, with his entire $10MM salary in 2024 already guaranteed, they can’t afford to release him, either. That’s why the team is okay trading him. At this point, trading him would only cost them $2.18MM in dead money while saving them $10MM in cap space; cutting Lazard would cost them all $12.18MM from the salary and prorated signing bonus, leaving the entire amount on their salary cap.

The team also acquired veteran free agent Mike Williams and drafted Western Kentucky receiver Malachi Corley in the third round of this year’s draft. Both players are currently projected to be above Lazard on the depth chart, making it far more difficult for Lazard to improve on his situation and production. Without the ability to release him, trading away the veteran wideout may be the only way to keep Lazard from eating up $10MM of cap space while spending the season as an off-the-bench role player in 2024.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets are showing a lot of interest in extending nickelback Michael Carter II. With higher-profile players like Sauce Gardner, C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams, and Jermaine Johnson getting most of the attention, Carter has quietly emerged as one of the top players at his position. Though Pro Football Focus doesn’t grade nickel cornerbacks separately from outside cornerbacks, Carter still ranked just nine spots behind Gardner as the 12th-best cornerback in the NFL. This was only a slight improvement over his placement at 19th in his sophomore campaign.

Now heading into the final year of his rookie deal, the Jets would prefer to get ahead of what could be yet another bout with unrestricted free agency next offseason. A few complications will stand in the way, though. The outside cornerback opposite Gardner, D.J. Reed, also graded out highly per PFF, slotting in at 19th last year, giving New York three cornerbacks in the top-20 in 2023. Reed is also entering a contract year, and Gardner will be eligible for a new contract the following year and will likely draw record-breaking numbers. The team also recently signed Isaiah Oliver who has been one of the league’s better slot cornerbacks in recent years. Although he is reportedly moving to the safeties room in New York, Oliver could slide back into his original position should the team opt not to pay Carter.

The league’s highest-paid nickelback is currently Taron Johnson on the Bills who is under a three-year, $33MM deal. That contract is identical in length and total value to Reed’s expiring deal, and after his top-20 performance in 2023, Reed may push that price up with a successful 2024 campaign. Throw in fact that Gardner’s future contract could push $23 or $24MM per year, and it’s going to be nearly impossible for the Jets to hold on to all three.

New York has some decisions to make in its cornerbacks room. Extending Carter may well be the cheapest of the three deals, but doing so may mark the end of Reed’s time with the Jets. With Gardner the clear, No. 1 priority, New York may be facing a decision of extending only one of either Carter or Reed.

WR Corey Davis Aiming For NFL Return; Jets Open To Trading Allen Lazard

Corey Davis stepped away from football last August, putting pause on his Jets tenure and leading to questions about his NFL future. The veteran wideout has applied for reinstatement, though, per ESPN’s Field Yates.

As Yates’ report notes, the Jets were expected to release Davis from the reserve/retired list on Thursday; per a team announcement, that move has indeed been made. As such, the 29-year-old is now a free agent. Yates and others have noted, however, that a new agreement with New York could be in play.

Davis did not declare he was retiring at the time he announced his decision to leave the team temporarily. That absence proved to last the entire 2023 campaign, but he could receive interest from the Jets or outside teams over the coming days and weeks. The former fifth overall pick was attached to a three-year, $37.5MM deal signed in 2021.

The Jets invested in a number of ex-Aaron Rodgers teammates last offseason, including a lucrative deal for Allen Lazard. The former Packer inked a four-year, $44MM pact, one which led to major expectations with New York. Even with Rodgers tearing his Achilles in Week 1, Lazard proved to be an underwhelming addition in his debut Jets campaign. The 28-year-old was a healthy scratch in November, and he also sat the final two weeks of the campaign. 2023 may prove to be Lazard’s only campaign in New York.

The Jets are open to dealing Lazard, Dianna Russini and Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic report. The former UDFA is owed $10MM guaranteed in 2024, and he is set to have a cap hit of $13.18MM in 2025 and ’26. Given the disappointing nature of his season last year, it would come as a surprise if teams showed much interest in swinging a deal for Lazard. New York is not actively shopping him at this time, Connor Hughes of SNY notes.

The Jets struggled mightily on offense after Rodgers went down, ranking 30th in passing yards per game. A healthy Rodgers (and a new backup quarterback in the form of Tyrod Taylor) would go a long way toward helping the team’s efforts to rebound from 2023. A better receiver corps would be beneficial as well, of course. It will be interesting to see if Davis is retained on a new deal and if Lazard remains in the fold for 2024.

Jets HC Robert Saleh Addresses Allen Lazard Benching

Jets wide receiver Allen Lazard was a healthy scratch in Friday’s loss to the Dolphins, and when asked about the decision after the game, head coach Robert Saleh did not mince words.

“He hasn’t been playing up to his standard,” Saleh said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “Everyone is pressing on that side of the ball to make something happen. There are parts of his game that need to get better.”

Lazard himself expressed his belief that he would return for the team’s Week 13 matchup with the Falcons, and Saleh did say that the first-year Jet“will be back sooner rather than later.” Still, the fact that Lazard found himself benched at a time when Gang Green’s offense is unable to muster much production of any kind does not bode well for his future with the club.

Saleh’s comments in that regard were particularly telling. Although the head coach said Lazard is “going to be a part of this,” he also said that Lazard is “going to be here for the next year-and-a-half.” Of course, Lazard signed a four-year, $44MM contract in the offseason that keeps him under club control through 2026.

That suggests that the Jets plan to move on from Lazard after the 2024 season, which Florio believes will happen. Contractually, New York has no choice but to retain Lazard next year, as his $10MM base salary for 2024 is fully-guaranteed, and even a post-June 1 release will not yield a single dollar of savings on the 2024 ledger.

Obviously, the team is also hoping that Lazard will be a key component of an Aaron Rodgers-piloted offense next year, and if that happens, perhaps the soon-to-be 28-year-old receiver will be able to extend his stay with the Jets (he is due non-guaranteed base salaries of $11MM in 2025 and 2026). In the meantime, Lazard will try to work his way back into the coaching staff’s good graces and create a connection with the club’s new starting quarterback, Tim Boyle.

Through 10 Zach Wilson-led games in 2023, Lazard has posted 20 catches for 290 yards and a touchdown.

AFC East Rumors: Lazard, Carter, Jackson, Montgomery

The Jets lost to the Dolphins today in Tim Boyle‘s first start since 2021, and while Boyle failed to provide the offensive spark the team has been searching so desperately for, his arsenal of weapons hardly set him up for success. Part of that was the absence of veteran wide receiver Allen Lazard, who, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports, was a healthy scratch from today’s game.

Florio relays that Lazard reportedly believes that it is “a one-game thing,” but after only being target once last week, Florio isn’t quite as sure. The report claims that, despite his existing history with injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, “the internal assessment of Lazard is far from flattering.”

Still, without him, Garrett Wilson saw 10 targets. Jason Brownlee and Xavier Gipson were the only other wide receivers to see targets, while the rest of Boyle’s attempts targeted tight ends and running backs. With Randall Cobb already out for the past four games, New York can hardly afford more missed time from Lazard, as well.

Here are a few other rumors from the AFC East, with another coming from Gang Green:

  • New York waived a former starter in running back Michael Carter a couple weeks ago. The young rusher had been benched after getting penalized for a chop block and had been buried on the depth chart behind Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook. The hope was that rookie fifth-round pick Israel Abanikanda would be able to step into the third-down role and provide a spark with his speed, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, but in today’s loss, Abanikanda didn’t register a touch. Hall instead took over the passing downs role, registering nine targets as the Jets were in catch-up mode for most of the contest.
  • A new update on the drama with Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson comes straight from Jackson himself, through Mark Daniels of Mass Live. After reports that Jackson failed to show up to the team hotel the night before their game with the Commanders and then subsequently was kept home during the team’s trip to Germany, Jackson explained the situation. Jackson tole Daniels that he had “missed multiple ‘bed checks'” on the night before the Washington game. He was told to stay home from Germany as a punishment, which he claims to have accepted, learned from, and apologized for. In fact, Jackson claims to now be even more appreciative of head coach Bill Belichick, as a result.
  • We saw New England pick up running back JaMycal Hasty off waivers a couple weeks ago, and with that addition, Mike Reiss of ESPN thinks veteran dual-threat back Ty Montgomery‘s job could be in danger. Hasty has a very similar skill set to Montgomery’s and is three years his junior. Montgomery, on the other hand, spent nearly all of last year on the team’s injured reserve and has seen his offensive contributions dwindle in 2023. Reiss could be right in thinking that Hasty has been brought in to replace Montgomery in the Patriots’ running backs room.

Allen Lazard, Aaron Rodgers Frequently Discussed Playing With Jets During 2023 Offseason

The Jets’ offense has plenty of new faces in place for the coming season, but a high degree of familiarity exists between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a number of the skill-position players around him. One of those is wideout Allen Lazard, whose arrival in the Big Apple was something the pair discussed leading up to their Green Bay-to-New York moves.

[RELATED: Rodgers Plans To Remain With Jets Beyond 2023]

Rodgers and Lazard frequently communicated with each other about joining the Jets, the latter confirmed when speaking to the media during training camp. By the time free agency opened up in mid-March, Lazard quickly agreed to a four-year, $44MM contract which added further to the speculation Rodgers would soon end up in New York as well. Despite the delays on the trade front for Rodgers, Lazard remained confident they would be able to continue their working relationship in a new home.

“We obviously had a very deep conversation and talked about the possibilities of where he would go, where I would go,” the 27-year-old said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk“Not to say that him going here was the only reason why I came here, or me coming here was the only reason why he didn’t want to retire or stay in Green Bay, per se, but I knew he was doing everything he could do.”

The long-anticipated Rodgers trade was not finalized until April, but its completion came as no surprise after the efforts made by the Jets to acquire the four-time MVP. Much of their offseason was built upon adding familiar faces for him on offense, and Lazard will play a key role in the carryover of Packers alum into New York. He spent the first five years of his career with Rodgers and the Packers, operating as a starter for the past three years and recording a career-high 788 yards in 2022.

The hiring of Nathaniel Hackett – Green Bay’s offensive coordinator from 2019-21 – to serve in the same role for the Jets has led to the expectation of a quick familiarization period in the passing game despite the many changes made in New York. A strong season from Rodgers and Lazard would go a long way toward the team reaching its win-now goals, and represent a positive outcome from their shared plan dating back to the end of their respective Packers tenures.

Allen Lazard Contacted Jets About FA Deal

The Aaron Rodgers-to-New York timeline became clearer this week, and one of the new Jets quarterback’s longtime teammates was ready to make the jump from the NFL’s smallest market to its biggest quickly.

Rodgers’ agent informed Jets GM Joe Douglas his client intended to sign off on a trade — rather than retire — shortly after midnight on March 13. That intel came hours before the start of this year’s legal tampering period; Allen Lazard revealed his preferred destination early in the unofficial free agency stretch. The four-year Packers receiver contacted the Jets shortly after hearing rumblings of the Rodgers news, Albert Breer of SI.com notes (on Twitter).

Lazard, whom the Packers picked up off the Jaguars’ practice squad in December 2018, had his agent call Douglas once the tampering period began, Breer adds. Upon hearing word Rodgers was on track to eventually become the Jets’ quarterback, Lazard declared his interest in following him to the Big Apple. Following Lazard’s pitch, the process accelerated quickly and was finalized before Rodgers publicly confirmed his intentions to play for the Jets.

The Jets made their Lazard commitment official on March 14, giving the former Davante Adams sidekick a four-year deal worth $44MM ($22MM fully guaranteed). This agreement came hours after the report of Rodgers’ wish list surfaced. While Rodgers and Robert Saleh have attempted to debunk that report, the Jets have added two ex-Rodgers teammates (Lazard and Randall Cobb) and made a strong push for Rodgers-backed wideout Odell Beckham Jr. Marcedes Lewis was also believed to be a Rodgers-driven target, though the soon-to-be 39-year-old veteran has yet to sign.

The Broncos are one of the teams that also pursued Lazard, who matched Jakobi Meyers in terms of AAV in this year’s much-maligned receiver class. Despite not landing Beckham, the Jets have remade their receiver room around Rodgers. Lazard, Cobb and Mecole Hardman have joined the sudden free agent destination. Garrett Wilson is still the centerpiece of this receiving corps, and while Corey Davis has lingered as a cut candidate, both Douglas and Saleh have indicated the contract-year receiver remains in the team’s plans.

Gang Green’s Lazard deal got the ball rolling, however, with the Elijah Moore trade soon to follow. Rodgers began working out with Lazard before the trade was finalized. Lazard’s guarantees cover 2024, and Rodgers said he views this trade as the groundwork for a multiyear partnership. While the future Hall of Famer has stopped short of committing he will play beyond this season, Lazard being locked down through 2024 would represent one of the reasons for a return next year.

Latest On Corey Davis, Jets Wide Receivers

With Aaron Rodgers now under center for the Jets, the team has been busy adding wide receivers to their roster. Naturally, that’s led some to question Corey Davis‘ future with the organization, but coach Robert Saleh told reporters yesterday that the veteran wideout would be sticking with the Jets (per Connor Hughes of SNYtv on Twitter).

The Jets inked Davis to a three-year, $37.5MM deal back in 2021, but the receiver hasn’t necessarily lived up to his contract. Davis has appeared in 22 games with the Jets over the past two years, hauling in 66 catches for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns. The Jets could have cleared around $10MM in cap space by moving on from the former fifth-overall pick, but Saleh noted that Davis will have a role on offense in 2023.

“Again, the cool thing with what [offensive coordinator] Nathaniel [Hackett‘s] bringing and this whole system is there is a lot of versatility amongst the receivers in terms of them being able to play multiple spots,” Saleh said (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “The one thing when Corey got hurt last year, we got small pretty quick, if you guys remember.”

The Jets have been busy adding some of Rodgers’ former targets, including Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb (they’ve also added two other former teammates, quarterback Tim Boyle and offensive tackle Billy Turner). This has led some to wonder if Rodgers had a specific list of targets that he wanted the Jets to pursue, similar to what went down with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. However, Saleh dismissed that notion, noting that multiple individuals play roles in recruiting certain players.

“It’s very common for new faces to want old faces, to come in and help accelerate the installation of an entire program,” Saleh said (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini). “Everything is pinned on the quarterback. It’s not just him.

“Hackett has something to say about it. He loves Lazard. He loves Randall. He took Billy Turner with him to Denver, and he wanted him here. Of course, you’re going to surround a coach with people who he feels like will plant the flag … that whole narrative — what people are trying to put on the quarterback — it’s tired. It’s common practice in the NFL.”

Besides Davis and the two aforementioned acquisitions, the Jets WR depth chart also consists of Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, free agent addition Mecole Hardman, and former second-round pick Denzel Mims.

Latest On Jets’ Pursuit Of Aaron Rodgers

We heard earlier this week that Jets owner Woody Johnson was starting to feel anxious about the lack of progress on an Aaron Rodgers trade. Joe Douglas did his part to quell any concern during a WFAN appearance last night, telling the crowd that Rodgers is “gonna be here” (h/t to ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter).

[RELATED: Multiple Day 2 Picks Viewed As Enough To Finalize Rodgers Trade?]

While Douglas has been careful with his wording while discussing Rodgers with the media, he’s also expressed continuous optimism that the two sides would eventually agree to compensation. However, Rich Cimini is cautioning (on Twitter) that this latest declaration isn’t a hint that a trade is pending.

The ESPN reporter notes that Douglas was playing to a “pro-Jets crowd,” and he cautions that nothing has changed on the trade front. Cimini refers back to Douglas’s comments during last month’s owners meetings, when the GM stated that he was “very optimistic” about acquiring the future Hall of Famer; Cimini says there’s been no progress since that time.

We heard recently that the two sides had completed most of the trade details but were still haggling over the exact compensation. While some pundits initially believed that the Packers would ask for New York’s 13th-overall selection, it’s seeming unlikely that the Jets will have to surrender a Day 1 pick. Rather, the general sentiment is that Green Bay will ultimately receive a Day 2 pick (perhaps the No. 43 pick acquired in the Elijah Moore trade) plus a conditional draft pick that hinges on Rodgers’ performance and decision on the 2024 season.

There’s always a chance the Packers could play hardball, but even the most pessimistic fan would be hard pressed to doubt Douglas’s sentiment. Rodgers has publicly stated his desire to play for the Jets next season, and the Packers have also all but cut ties with their franchise quarterback. This leaves Green Bay with little leverage in trade talks, and while they could continue to delay the transaction in hopes of squeezing out a few more assets, it’s only a matter of time before Rodgers is in New York.

Despite not being on the official roster, that hasn’t stopped Rodgers from working out with some of his former/future teammates. As passed along by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, Rodgers worked out with wide receiver Allen Lazard this week. The wideout spent five seasons with Rodgers in Green Bay, including a 2022 campaign where he finished with career-highs in receptions (60) and receiving yards (788). Lazard inked a four-year contract with the Jets last month.

Broncos Pursued Adam Thielen, Allen Lazard; Jerry Jeudy Still Drawing Trade Interest

MARCH 26: Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required) reiterates earlier reports that the Broncos are seeking a first-round pick in a Jeudy trade, with Troy Renck of Denver 7 tweeting that the club is holding firm on that demand. Doug Kyed of AtoZSports.com hears that Jeudy may be a more realistic trade option than Hopkins, but Denver’s insistence on a first-rounder in exchange for Jeudy could be an indication that the team does not really want to move him.

League sources tell Howe that Denver’s asking price for Sutton remains too high as well, so although the Broncos’ interest in free agent pass catchers does suggest that Payton & Co. are perhaps willing to make some changes to their receiver room, it is clear that a club that wants Jeudy or Sutton is going to need to make an especially aggressive offer.

Indeed, Cabot reports that the Browns never got close to landing Jeudy. Cleveland was prepared to deal the No. 42 overall pick in this year’s draft — the same pick that it used to acquire Elijah Moore from the Jets — but the team would have also needed to include a talented player or another high selection in the 2024 draft, and even that may not have been enough.

MARCH 22: While reports of the Broncos’ plans to keep Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton keep emerging, the again-retooling team’s starting wide receivers continue to come up in trade rumors. Denver’s pursuits of other wide receivers in free agency may provide a hint to Sean Payton‘s plans at the position.

Adam Thielen said the Broncos and Cowboys joined the Panthers in pursuing him in free agency, David Newton of ESPN.com notes, while The Score’s Jordan Schultz adds the team made an aggressive push for Allen Lazard before he signed with the Jets (Twitter link).

As the Broncos potentially helped drive up the prices for Thielen and Lazard, who respectively received $14MM and $22MM fully guaranteed, the subject will shift back to their holdover receivers. Denver rosters a former first-round pick (Jeudy), two outside receivers on veteran deals (Sutton, Tim Patrick) and a second-round deep threat who has battled steady injury problems (KJ Hamler). Given the team’s pursuits of outside help at the position, it can be assumed Payton wants to shake up this position, which has not seen major augmentations since the Jeudy and Hamler selections three years ago.

Count the Browns as a team in on Jeudy. While the Broncos want a first-round pick for Jeudy, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes the Browns have not given up on a pursuit despite their lack of a first-round selection this year. The Broncos are not truly keeping Jeudy off the market, Cabot adds, as they are willing to part with the fourth-year receiver for a strong offer.

The Cowboys look to be off the table for Jeudy, after they acquired Brandin Cooks, but teams like the Giants and Patriots have previously looked into the talented pass catcher. While DeAndre Hopkins is willing to rework his contract, the Cardinals wideout’s through-2024 deal would be more expensive to acquire than Jeudy’s. A modest fifth-year option price can extend Jeudy’s rookie deal through 2024. With some teams still look for receiving help during an offseason that brought an unremarkable free agency crop and looks to feature a lesser group of prospects in the draft, Jeudy’s name will carry value in the weeks leading up to the draft.

The Browns have Amari Cooper tied to his Cowboys-constructed $20MM-per-year deal. Although the team restructured Cooper’s contract last year, his cap numbers sit at $23.8MM in 2023 and ’24. The team also restructured Deshaun Watson‘s deal, ballooning his 2024-26 cap numbers to record-obliterating figures while dropping his 2023 hit to $19.1MM. The Browns hold just more than $10MM in cap space. Jeudy would fit alongside Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones in Cleveland; the latter is going into a contract year but produced his best season in 2022.

Denver’s wideouts have yet to put it together. Quarterback play, injuries and last year’s disjointed offense have played a major role in Jeudy and Sutton’s inconsistency. But the team’s pursuits of Thielen and Lazard will not quiet the rumblings that either Jeudy or Sutton could be on the move ahead of the draft. Sutton and Patrick’s skillsets overlap, and Thielen and Lazard also qualify as possession targets. Jeudy’s route-running chops and elusiveness differ from both the incumbent targets and the recent free agents, but at 23, he would fetch the Broncos the best haul.

The Broncos, they of no first- or second-round pick this year, continue to be faced with a choice of retaining a promising wide receiver — one who would stand to move the needle as Payton attempts to reignite Russell Wilson — or moving on in exchange for vital 2023 draft capital.

Jets Finalizing Allen Lazard Deal

Allen Lazard is on the cusp of being a well-paid Jets wideout. The team is signing Lazard to a four-year, $44MM deal, per The Score’s Jordan Schultz (on Twitter). The parties are finalizing the agreement, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets.

With Aaron Rodgers placing Lazard on his Jets free agency wish list, it should be assumed the AFC East team is acting accordingly. Lazard will also reunite with ex-Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett. The Jets spent much of Tuesday working on adding Lazard, undoubtedly eyeing the bigger prize likely attached to this deal.

This figure being accurate will mean two wide receivers in this free agent class received eight-figure AAVs, and Schultz adds the Jets are preparing to guarantee $22MM of Lazard’s contract. That is in step with Jakobi Meyers‘ deal, which includes $21MM in total guarantees. The Raiders are guaranteeing Meyers $16MM on a three-year pact; it is not yet known how much of Lazard’s contract will be guaranteed at signing.

On the surface, these look like great terms for Lazard, who exited the 2021 season as Green Bay’s No. 3 wideout. In 2022, however, the Packers placed him at the center of a bold plan that involved trading Davante Adams and letting Marquez Valdes-Scantling join the Chiefs in free agency. A year later, all three are gone. The Packers look to have found a promising player in second-round pick Christian Watson, and fourth-round rookie Romeo Doubs showed early signs of being a long-term contributor. But the team is losing Lazard on the heels of his best season.

Lazard’s capabilities aside, the Iowa State alum’s involvement here checks in a bit lower for interest compared to his longtime quarterback’s status. No, Rodgers still has not committed to playing for the Jets — or for anyone — in 2023. That is believed to be the final domino here, though it would be an interesting chapter in the superstar quarterback’s increasingly odd NFL journey were he to insist on the Jets signing each of the players on his free agency wish list before confirming he would join the team.

Fellow ex-Packers Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis are also believed to be on this list. Adding those two should not be a problem for the Jets, but the other player included here — Odell Beckham Jr. — brings more complications. Lazard also could bring changes for Gang Green’s receiving corps.

Lazard, 27, is coming off career-high numbers in receptions (60), receiving yards (788) and targets (100 — a cool 40 more than he received in 2021). The 6-foot-5 target is known as a high-end run-blocking wideout. That and his 14 touchdown catches over the past two years move the needle, though it is obviously worth wondering if Lazard would be on the Jets’ radar were Rodgers not in the picture. Setting aside Garrett Wilson, who is not going anywhere, the Jets still have Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims under contract. The team released Braxton Berrios last week, and while Mims has somehow remained on New York’s roster despite years of trade rumors, Davis’ contract may be worth inspecting in light of Lazard’s agreement.

It remains to be seen what Rodgers’ deal will look like; unchanged, the Jets would have him at barely $15MM on their 2023 cap. Rodgers has said he would need to adjust his deal, to enable the Packers to trade him without historic dead money coming, but he will still bring a lofty contract to a Jets team accustomed to rookie-QB salaries. Davis, who signed ahead of Zach Wilson‘s rookie year, can be cut nearly free of charge. The Jets could save $10.5MM by releasing Davis, who would likely find a new home quickly on this receiver market.