Allen Lazard

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.

Aaron Rodgers’ Jets Free Agency Wish List Includes Odell Beckham Jr., Marcedes Lewis

The Buccaneers loaded up their roster with Tom Brady-approved acquisitions in 2020, adding the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown. Of course, those players became Buccaneers after Brady committed. The Jets may be dealing with a different situation.

Aaron Rodgers has given the Jets a free agency wish list that includes a few ex-Packers — Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis — but Dianni Russini of ESPN.com reports the future Hall of Fame quarterback also wants the team to acquire Odell Beckham Jr. (Twitter link). Both the Jets and Raiders are believed to be interested in Lewis, despite the tight end going into an age-39 season, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

It should not be assumed Rodgers will only commit to the Jets if they land all these targets, but the team has been connected to each of the ex-Packers already. The Packers were interested in OBJ back in 2021 as well, though the team stood down and let him sign with the Rams. This marks the first known Beckham-Jets connection, with his previous return-to-New York rumors involving his former team. The Giants, along with the Cowboys, Rams and others, are still believed to be interested in Beckham. Given the QB circumstances at play, the Jets should be counted among the talented but injury-prone wideout’s suitors.

The Jets and Packers have discussed a Rodgers trade for a while, and while it is not known if the parties have agreed to all terms, the holdup here is believed to be Rodgers’ interest in becoming a Jet. The four-time MVP has still not committed to playing a 19th season, despite a round of Jets players sending out celebratory tweets Monday. Putting out a free agency wish list, however, does point to Rodgers being prepared to suit up again.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson is obviously not going anywhere, but the Jets’ receiver room could look quite different soon — depending on how many of Rodgers’ guys the team acquires. The Jets have Corey Davis under contract for one more season, but with $10MM-plus in savings attached to cutting him, that should be considered a possible outcome. Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims also remain on Gang Green’s roster, each attached to rookie contracts. Both were in trade rumors last year; the Jets shopped Mims but did not honor Moore’s trade request.

Even as the Jets have made a run of overtures to Rodgers, the team rearranging its skill-position depth chart before he agrees to join them would be a notable development. Rodgers committing and then the team making an effort to add his preferred weaponry would be more in line with how Brady played it three years ago. While this might be a LeBron James-style effort to apply extra pressure to a team to acquire his preferred weaponry, he also may already be committed to the Jets. The latter scenario would make this list easier to understand, compared to an ultimatum.

As for Beckham, this represents another opportunity for him to maximize his value. It is unknown if he is interested in teaming up with Rodgers, but the 30-year-old wideout is once again seeking money seemingly well out of step with his value. Beckham was connected to a $20MM-per-year ask during his December free agency sweepstakes; that number has come up once again. While OBJ is extraordinarily unlikely to approach that price point, given his two ACL tears and missed season, this Rodgers tie could help him on the market.

Lewis was with the Packers throughout new Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett‘s Green Bay stay. He could profile as a third tight end for a team that already employs C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. A longtime Rodgers ally, Cobb has played 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with the all-time QB great. Rodgers drove the Packers, calling off his trade request, to reacquire him in 2021.

Jets Working To Sign WR Allen Lazard; Randall Cobb On Radar

10:26am: The Jets are closing in on a Lazard deal, per Schefter, who adds they are also expected to pursue Randall Cobb. The latter target should be a clearer indicator they believe Rodgers is coming. Cobb has played 12 NFL seasons; 10 of those came with Rodgers in Green Bay. When Rodgers dropped his 2021 trade request, he drove Packers brass to reacquire Cobb from the Texans via trade. Cobb joins Lazard as a free agent, having played out a reworked contract in 2022.

Cobb is going into his age-33 season and would make for an atypical No. 4 wide receiver, but considering the Jets’ quarterback pursuit, the veteran slot target certainly sits as a logical candidate here. The Jets would be Cobb’s fourth team; he played with the Cowboys in 2019 and Texans in 2020. The Jets are taking Rodgers’ input regarding free agency targets, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. The Cobb connection certainly makes that clear.

The team, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter), remains optimistic Rodgers will indeed follow in Brett Favre‘s footsteps, 15 years later. All signs still point toward a trade, per Cimini, but this has become quite the drawn-out courtship. The Packers appear onboard with starting the Jordan Love era. The Jets will need to know if Rodgers is in or out soon, as teams’ budgets are changing rapidly as barely 24 hours remain until the 2023 league year.

10:15am: As the football world still awaits an Aaron Rodgers decision, reasonable dot-connecting can commence regarding the Jets’ wide receiver plans. They are working to reach an agreement with Allen Lazard, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

At least one other team is trying to add the Packers wide receiver-turned-free agent, but the Jets are attempting to reunite him with Nathaniel Hackett (and, if they can finally push this saga past the goal line, Rodgers). Lazard has spent the past four seasons with the Packers, consistently earning praise from Rodgers along the way.

The Jets appear to be in the lead for Lazard, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who notes the other team in on Lazard may not be an aggressive pursuer at this point (video link). This package deal now has a better chance of coming to pass, though Lazard still seemingly resides as the second domino here. The receiver market began to move Tuesday morning, via Jakobi Meyers‘ Raiders agreement. Lazard resides as one of the second-tier options available on what is viewed as a mediocre free agency wideout crop.

The Packers conjured up an unsuccessful plan — for 2022, anyway — to increase Lazard’s role after trading Davante Adams and letting Marquez Valdes-Scantling walk in free agency. This blueprint helped lead to Green Bay’s disappointing 9-8 season, but Lazard did amass a career-high 60 receptions (on 100 targets — 40 more than his previous single-season standard) and 788 yards. Lazard, 27, has 14 touchdown receptions over the past two seasons.

The 6-foot-5 pass catcher is also one of the league’s best run-blocking wide receivers. The Jets would be asking Lazard to play a role more in line with his skillset as well, given Garrett Wilson‘s presence. The team has Corey Davis going into the final year of his contract and Elijah Moore coming off a down sophomore season. Davis has been rumored as a potential cap casualty; were the Jets to take this route, they would save $10.5MM. That would help in their ongoing effort to add Rodgers’ salary, be it a reworked number or not, to their cap sheet.

Hackett was with the Packers when they clamed Lazard via waivers in 2019. It would be interesting to see if Gang Green planned to push for that reunion were Rodgers ultimately not ticketed for the Big Apple, but as it stands now, multiple connections tie Lazard to the team.