- Jets signed Allen Lazard in the offseason, handing him $22m guaranteed deal
- But Aaron Rodgers’ former Green Bay teammate has been awful since arriving
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Jets coach Robert Saleh continued to make bold decisions this week with Zach Wilson not the only high-profile player to be benched.
Receiver Allen Lazard was left inactive for Friday’s first-ever Black Friday game that saw AFC East rivals Miami Dolphins roll into New Jersey.
That’s despite the former Green Bay receiver being signed to a lucrative $44million, four-year contract in the offseason.
Of that contract, $22m was guaranteed – the most money guaranteed to a free agent receiver throughout the offseason.
Lazard was brought to the Jets as a link-up man for Aaron Rodgers.
Jets receiver Allen Lazard was left inactive for their game against the Dolphins on Black Friday
Robert Saleh has made bold changes this week, including benching quarterback Zach Wilson
He was signed in March as part of the Jets’ effort to lure Rodgers to MetLife when he decided he wanted to leave Green Bay.
The pair forged a reliable partnership with the Packers and hoped to recreate that with the Jets.
He also has close ties to Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett – who worked with both Rodgers and Lazard in Green Bay.
But, with his preferred quarterback injured with a ruptured Achilles in week one, Lazard has desperately struggled to produce.
He has amassed just 20 receptions for 209 yards and a single touchdown in his 10 previous starts. Lazard has also dropped five passes.
Aaron Rodgers and Lazard were teammates in Green Bay and forged a strong relationship
But it seems Lazard is going nowhere. Releasing him after just one season would cost the Jets $18.7m in a dead money charge to the salary cap.
Lazard’s struggles come amid other receiver problems for the Jets this season. They also signed Randall Cobb and Mecole Hardman in the position.
Cobb hasn’t played the past four weeks while Hardman was traded to the Chiefs last month after barely playing in the early weeks of the season.
It comes after Saleh also benched Wilson after a number of awful performances since standing in for Rodgers.
Third-string quarterback Tim Boyle started on Friday with Trevor Siemian the backup.