5. Allen Lazard
The Green Bay Packers have serious cap concerns, and Lazard is a restricted free agent. For whatever reason his role has never seemed to fully evolve in Green Bay, but he did breakthrough a bit with eight touchdowns on 40 catches last season and his value as a blocker has been documented.
If Lazard weighed more than 225-230 pounds, he might be a tight end. But he is a big target (6-foot-5), with the ability to be a force in the red zone and get downfield a bit. He also improved his drop rate substantially in 2021 compared to 2020 (10.9 percent to 1.7 percent, according to Pro Football Reference). Over the final five games of last season, he had 21 catches for 290 yards and five touchdowns.
If the Packers tender Lazard, it’ll likely be at the right of first refusal ($2.433 million) or second-round tender ($3.986 million) level. The former would mean they get no draft pick compensation if they don’t match an offer sheet from another team, since Lazard was not drafted.
If he’s not tendered, Lazard would hit the open market unabated. The Packers may have to let that happen, and take their chances they can still re-sign him if they want to.
Spotrac looks kindly on Lazard’s market value, in the $7.7 million per year range. Teams may not have to pony up that much to get him, on an offer sheet or otherwise on a multi-year deal.
Lazard’s skill set and willingness to mix it up as a blocker is something the Lions should like, and he should be somewhere on the radar.