Jets’ $44 million receiver could be playing for his future in 2024

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills, allen lazard
Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets boast a formidable wide receiver lineup featuring Garrett Wilson and recent free agent acquisition Mike Williams. However, the potential for roster adjustments remains, especially with Allen Lazard’s position after a less-than-stellar 2023 season.

Assessing the Jets’ Wide Receiver Strategy

Last offseason, Lazard signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Jets, primarily due to his strong rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Despite this connection, Lazard struggled to find synergy with quarterback Zach Wilson, managing just 311 yards and one touchdown throughout the season—most of which occurred in a single game against Kansas City in Week 4.

Financial Implications and Roster Decisions

Looking ahead, the 28-year-old former undrafted free agent aims to rebound in the second year of his contract. Notably, the Jets have an out after this season, which would involve a $6.5 million hit in dead money but could result in substantial savings moving forward. With Lazard scheduled for a cap hit of $13.18 million in both 2025 and 2026, releasing him could free up significant resources.

Syndication: The Record
Credit: Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Jets face financial considerations next year as well, with around $58.2 million in cap space available. This budget will be crucial as the team evaluates potential extensions for key players like D.J. Reed and Haason Reddick. Given Lazard’s established relationship with Rodgers, it seems unlikely that the Jets would part ways with him this offseason. Nonetheless, with numerous young talents such as Jason Brownlee and Xavier Gipson vying for roster spots, decisions will need to be made—particularly if these players do not contribute on special teams.

Given the Jets accrue no cap savings by cutting Lazard, I wouldn’t anticipate anything happening here, but after the 2024 season, it’s safe to say his days will be numbered.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: