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Contextualizing the Allen Lazard contract: Was it fair value?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the New York Jets and former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard agreed to a four year, 44 million dollar contract. Of the 44 million, 22 million is guaranteed.

The deal was met by mixed reviews by Jets fans, as most deals are. In an attempt to ascertain the degree to which the deal was good, bad, or ugly for the Jets, I will dive into Lazard’s ProFootballFocus (PFF) grades as well as the contract values of other players who play his position.

2022 PFF grades (rank in parentheses)

  • Overall score: 69.0 (50th of 113 ranked players)
  • Receiving score: 73.9 (34th)
  • Run blocking score: 39.0 (104th)

Contract values within position (wide receivers)

Allen Lazard received a 4 year deal for 44 million dollars with an average annual value (AAV) of 11 million dollars. Other active players who have received between 10 and 12 million dollars on their AAV with contract lengths of at least 3 years are:

  • Michael Gallup (Dallas Cowboys): PFF grade of 62.6 in 2022
  • Curtis Samuel (Washington Commanders): PFF grade of 70.5 in 2022
  • Jakobi Meyers (Las Vegas Raiders): PFF grade 75.6 in 2022
  • Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals): PFF grade of 70.2 in 2022
  • DeVante Parker (New England Patriots): PFF grade of 74.1 in 2022
  • Tim Patrick (Denver Broncos): Injured in 2022
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling: PFF grade of 64.8 in 2022

My Takeaways

According to PFF, Lazard was a starting quality receiver, albeit one that may be better suited as a second wideout rather than a true blue #1 WR. In line with that, his contract value is in line with players who are typically thought of as WR2s rather WR1s. While his PFF grade was generally slightly below his similarly paid peers, his overall play may improve as he shifts from a WR1 to a WR2 and garners lesser coverage attention, pushing him into that level of performance.

Overall, Lazard’s contract appears fair for the market, implying that the Jets got good if not great value on this contract.