Rich CiminiESPN staff writer4 minutes to read
Florham Park, NJ – Wide receiver Allen Lazard said he signed with the New York Jets because of the “bright lights” of the city and a strong affinity for the new offensive coordinator. Then, of course, there’s the life-altering money. And one more thing.
“Obviously, standing here today, it feels good knowing that 12 is going to be a quarterback again,” Lazard said Friday on a Zoom conference call with reporters.
Lazard has spoken of his former Green Bay Packers teammate, Aaron Rodgers, as if their reunion was a done deal. Not quite, as the Jets and Packers are negotiating commercial compensation and a restructured contract. On Wednesday, Rodgers said his “intent” is to play for the Jets in 2023. A deal is expected, though nothing is forthcoming.
After five seasons with the Packers, Lazard, 27, signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension with the Jets. He said he and Rodgers recently spoke at a fitness facility in Los Angeles, where they both train in the off-season. Lazard indicated that his decision to play for the Jets was not contingent on Rodgers deciding the same.
“As a wide receiver, the best relationship you can have is with a quarterback and the relationship I have with him has been exceptional,” said Lazard. “Obviously there’s a tendency he’s going to come here, but … after the season, after the last game, in the dressing room, I mentioned how I should worry about myself and take care of what’s best for me and I can’t worry about other people.”
“My decision to come here was completely based on that and making sure that I’m doing what’s best for my career. Obviously, having him here, definitely helps the whole organization to be able to take the next step, make a profound difference, run in the playoffs and go on and win the Lombardi Cup.” “.
Choosing Lazard would make Rodgers happy.
During discussions last week with the Jets, he delivered a glowing recommendation from Lazard, who posted career highs last season with 60 receptions and 788 receiving yards. Speaking Wednesday on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers said, “I think, objectively, a lot of people can look at Allen Lazard and go, ‘He’s a really good player. We would like to include him in our team.”
The Jets now have four, maybe five starting caliber receivers in Lazard, Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims. Davis, whose fee is $11.2 million, could be very expendable.
Assuming Rodgers is the starting quarterback, Lazard would love the Jets’ chances in the AFC. When asked about the team’s cap, he said, “With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the possibility of winning is always something. With that being said, it really is the Super Bowl.”
Lazard has come a long way from being an unsubscriber from Iowa, being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars and even being cut by the Packers. Eventually he established himself, with some help from Rodgers.
“He really put his arm around me and he’s a big reason I’m here today,” he said. “I can’t deny it. He stood at a table for me during training camp when I probably didn’t deserve to be on the roster – at least in front office eyes. He invited me to be in the game. He relied on me in a lot of high-pressure situations and believed in me.” always “.
Lazard also credited offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who served in the same position with the Packers from 2019 to 2021. Hackett was also on the Jaguars staff during Lazard’s tenure there.
“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had,” said Lazard. “And this is from school to football.”
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