After spending the first five seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers, free-agent receiver Allen Lazard has high expectations for his next destination.
A former undrafted free agent coming off the best year of his career, Lazard told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday that he’s “excited” to see what awaits him in free agency but noted he’d be “bougie” in choosing his next club.
“I’ve been very spoiled the past four or five years to be in the Packers organization,” Lazard said. “I think they’re obviously a first-class organization just how they go about their relationship with the fans, how they treat the players. Just the whole experience there. Having coach (Matt) LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett there the past few years and obviously having Aaron (Rodgers) as the quarterback, I’m almost sort of bougie, I feel like, in what I’m going to be wanting out of an organization. I have such high expectations. But that’s only because I’ve seen that and I’ve experienced that, and I think the record — minus last year, the three years before that — it kind of shows you why they’re able to have that success.”
Lazard grew in the Packers organization from undrafted out of Iowa State — playing only one game as a rookie in 2018 — to the club’s leading receiver in 2022 with 788 yards and six TDs. After the Davante Adams trade last offseason, Lazard was the only veteran regular as Green Bay broke in a young receiver corps that included Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. With Rodgers’ trust, Lazard saw 100 targets last season, catching 60 balls. The next closest Packers receiver had 67 targets.
Rodgers has already stumped for the Packers to bring Lazard back — if the QB himself returns. However, with a dearth of quality receivers hitting the open market and Green Bay’s salary-cap crunch, the 27-year-old could quickly price himself out of the Packers’ range.
Lazard said Wednesday he’d gotten no indication Green Bay will extend his contract before free agency opens.
“My agent, I believe, has started to talk to them a little bit in recent weeks, but they haven’t said anything as far as preventing me from going to the open market,” he said.
Lazard is an interesting free-agent case. With few options and a host of WR-needy teams, he could see a solid market. Or clubs might view his production as a byproduct of Rodgers, leaving him with short-term offers, like what we saw JuJu Smith-Schuster take the past two offseasons.