New Jets wide receiver Allen Lazard knows what it is like to play with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and knows what the expectations for the Jets will be once a trade is completed for Rodgers to join him with the Jets.
“I think with Aaron Rodgers as quarterback, the possibility to win is always a thing,” Lazard said Friday in a Zoom call with reporters. “With that being said, it’s really the Super Bowl. Especially at the point in his career and everything, his ability, four-time MVP winner, won back-to-back MVPs two-three years ago.
“His caliber of play automatically elevates everybody’s potential and ability on the field immediately.”
Lazard signed his four-year, $44 million contract on Friday, officially joining the Jets.
Now, he waits for Rodgers to join him.
Rodgers said he wants to play for the Jets this week.
The Jets and Packers are now trying to work out a trade to make that happen.
For Lazard, who played with Rodgers over the last four seasons, he said the decision to come to the Jets was not based on joining Rodgers here but doing what is best for his career.
That does not mean he is not happy to see Rodgers again.
“It feels good knowing that 12’s going to be my quarterback again,” Lazard said. “Me and my decision coming here was purely based off of that and making sure I’m doing what’s best for my career.
“Obviously, him being here definitely helps the entire organization take that next step that they need to to make a deep playoff run and go win that Lombardi Trophy.”
Lazard said he and Rodgers recently saw each other in Los Angeles at a place where they both work out.
He said they talked, but it was not as though they were planning to join up in New York.
Lazard had 788 receving yards and six touchdowns last year for the Packers.
He said Green Bay did not really try to re-sign him, something he expected after they did not extend his contract last offseason.
“They didn’t seem like they were going to miss me too much or anything,” Lazard said.
As for the Jets, he said the biggest reasons he came (besides the $44 million) is that he wanted to live near a big city after growing up in Des Moines, Iowa and then playing in Green Bay.
He also said the coaching staff is a big reason why he is here.
He praised head coach Robert Saleh and also offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who he has known since signing as an undrafted free agent in Jacksonville in 2018 and then playing for him in Green Bay from 2019-21.
“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had in my life,” Lazard said. “That goes from school to football. He just makes learning fun. … He allows you to go out there and just play fast and not think. Because of that is the reason I’ve had a lot of success these past few years.”
Lazard said it has not hit him yet that he just signed a big-money, free-agent deal just five years after he was undrafted.
“I still feel undrafted because the checks haven’t hit yet,” he joked.
Lazard wore No. 13 in Green Bay but that is retired with the Jets for Don Maynard.
Lazard said he is not sure what number he will wear yet, but is leaning toward No. 5, which he wore in high school and college.
Jets fans won’t care what number he wears as long as he catches touchdowns from Rodgers and elevates a team that has not been to the playoffs in 12 seasons.
Lazard said he embraces being a team leader.
“I know how to win,” Lazard said. “I know what it’s like to operate in late-game situations, in tough situations. We’re going to carry that same standard, same expectations here as well.”