Allen Lazard Oct 29, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Allen Lazard (10) catches a pass as New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (22) defends in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing has gone to plan for the New York Jets this season, most notably the addition of free-agent wide receiver Allen Lazard. He was supposed to play a big part in Gang Green’s offense, having signed a 4-year, $44 million deal to join Aaron Rodgers and Nathaniel Hackett in Florham Park.

However, Lazard has been a big bust, and his lackluster season culminated in his being benched against the Miami Dolphins. Lazard, who has hauled in 20 receptions on 41 targets for 290 yards and a touchdown, was a healthy scratch for this past Friday’s AFC East Divisional matchup.

According to SNY’s Connor Hughes, Lazard said Wednesday that he was “caught off guard” by his inactive destination last week. Not only did he not see it coming, but he said it “hurt” him more that he wasn’t able to be out there helping Tim Boyle, his former teammate from Green Bay, who started in the 34-13 loss.

During the same news conference, ESPN’s Rich Cimini asked Lazard how he thinks he’s played this season.

“I think everyone would agree that we haven’t reached our expectations or our goals as far as individuals, and collectively as a group,” Lazard said. “And, there’s always room for improvement.”

According to NFL Media, the 27-year-old Lazard has struggled to create separation and has four drops on the season — his 9.8 drop percentage is second worst among all receivers with at least 30 targets, per Next Gen Stats.

“It could be numerous things,” Lazard said when pressed about his production (or lack thereof). “It’s a team sport. I would like to think football is the most team sport that there is. There is so much that has to happen for individuals to be successful…There’s a lot of things that me, as an individual, can improve on.”

Lazard’s struggles have been a major source of disappointment for the Jets, and his benching against the Dolphins is a sign that the team is going to hold its players accountable. He’ll be active this week against the Atlanta Falcons, so we’ll have to see if a week away from the field can help Lazard get back on track.

[Connor Hughes, Boy Green]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.