As Aaron Rodgers inched closer to breaking Brett Favre’s Packers touchdown record, few would have predicted that the wide receiver who would make that record-breaking catch would be a former practice squad wideout making less than a million dollars a year.
Allen Lazard still hasn’t played a complete season in the NFL. But his contributions to the Packers, especially in 2021, haven’t gone unnoticed. After signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2018, he was in Green Bay by the end of his first season.
The Iowa State alum ended his college career as the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and 100-yard receiving games. And now he is helping the Green Bay Packers as the No. 1 seed in the 2021 playoffs. If it leads to a second Super Bowl for Rodgers and the team’s first in a decade, everyone should remember the impact Lazard has had in having that happen.
Yes, football is a team sport. But it’s also important to take a second and appreciate players who have been reliable and risen to the occasion this year. Even with possible salary cap issues next year, Lazard has shown he deserves a decent contract. He’s more talented than the 1-year, $850K deal he is currently on.
Lazard Before 2021
The Iowa native only played in one game in 2018 and had one catch. In 2019, he played in all 16 games. He had three touchdowns, 35 receptions, and 477 yards. Lazard signed a one-year tender in August 2020 and is also part of an exclusive-rights free agent. No. 13 had another three touchdowns, 451 yards, and 33 receptions. His stats would have been higher, but he missed more than a month after having core muscle surgery.
Lazard had a great game against the Los Angeles Rams in the first Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau. He had four catches for 96 yards, including a touchdown for 58 yards. He has always shown moments of raw talent but never truly broken out. Lazard suffered an injury in 2020 and missed some time due to COVID last year.
Lazard’s 2021 Season
Lazard probably would have played every game this year if it weren’t for being in close contact with Davante Adams. Since Allen was unvaccinated, he had to be on the COVID list for the full 10 days. He was also fined $14,650 for violating the NFL COVID protocols at the time. It’s crazy how much the NFL’s COVID rules have changed since November.
Allen Lazard has now made history twice this year with Aaron Rodgers. One was catching his 443rd touchdown pass as a Packer on Christmas Day.
The other would be catching Rodgers’ 56th touchdown pass against the Minnesota Vikings. That also breaks Favre’s previous franchise record of 55.
Lazard has stepped up with multiple wide receivers lost to COVID protocols, injuries, and setbacks. When the team was missing Randall Cobb and MVS, he had to be the No. 2 receiver next to Davante Adams. Twice this season, Lazard has had six receptions for more than 70 yards and a score. He matched his career total in touchdowns this year alone.
You never want to look ahead too early, but the Packers’ offseason is going to be more than interesting. Will Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams return? Will Cobb be released to save money? And if all of that happens, who do they have at receiver? MVS is also a free agent. Lazard will be too. Green Bay has a lot of work to do to fill the offense next year, and Lazard should be part of their plans.
He is shown to be a great football player and person. He has earned a decent contract. The only worry is that another team or divisional opponent will have more cap space and be able to snatch him away. So, like with many other Packers this year, we need to enjoy the 2021 season.
It could truly be The Last Dance for a lot of these Packers. Not winning a Super Bowl shouldn’t be an option with the talent on this team. Lazard is another player who has stepped up and shown his worth this season. He deserves to be well-paid by the Packers.
Green Bay would be smart to just lock him up now. Backload that contract and keep him in Green Bay.