Packers WR Allen Lazard excited about chance to enter free agency

After playing his first five seasons without a sniff of unrestricted free agency and now coming off his most productive NFL season, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard is expectedly excited about his chance to enter the open market next month.

In a conversation with Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday, Lazard made it clear he’s going to explore his options in free agency.

“All players wish to be in this position at some point in their career,” Lazard said. “Having played a good season and having the option to go wherever you really truly desire… I’m definitely excited to hear and see all the teams that will be interested, and go through with my agent and family and see what the best option is.”

Given the lack of depth in the wide receiver market and Lazard’s growth as a player, it’s possible – maybe even likely – that he’ll command a new deal worth $10 million per season over multiple seasons.

Lazard said he’s been “spoiled” over the last five seasons while with the Packers in terms of both his relationship with the fans and team and his ability to play for Matt LaFleur and play with Aaron Rodgers. He said he is considering all variables in approaching free agency, including coaches, players, climate and long-term livability.

“This next place I would like it to be somewhere I could see myself living for an extended period of time,” Lazard said.

Lazard, who caught 60 passes for 788 yards last season, said his agent has been in contact with the Packers over the last few weeks, but nothing on a new contract in Green Bay is imminent or expected.

Lazard, a star at Iowa State, played his first two seasons as an undrafted free agent on an entry-level deal. He was retained by the Packers through an exclusive rights free agent deal in 2020 and 2021 and a restricted free agent deal in 2022. Now, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent with an opportunity to go anywhere he wants or is wanted.

The open market can be a very welcoming place for a young, improving player; Lazard is only 27 years old and has 100 catches and 14 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Lazard said consistency is where he’s grown the most. In 12 of his 15 games this past season, Lazard produced at least 50 receiving yards or caught a touchdown.

Will the Packers value his consistency and versatility enough to keep him long-term, or will the allure of big-time money and a new (and warmer?) home pull Lazard away?

“I think everybody would prefer the sun over the cold, that’s just natural,” Lazard said. “I kind of want to venture out and live in a different region. At the end of the day, this is my career and I’m going to take it wherever it needs me to go to get to where I want to go as far as my individual career. Weather definitely helps, but it’s not the end-all, be-all.”

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Story originally appeared on Packers Wire