The Packers kept making moves as free agency unofficially continued for a second day. The following is an instant analysis:
🏈ALLEN LAZARD GETS SECOND-ROUND TENDER
As expected, the Packers placed the middle tender on Allen Lazard. The veteran wide receiver now has until late April to either agree to an offer sheet with another team – which is highly unlikely – or sign the tender worth just under $4 million. Once Lazard signs, the two sides will likely work out an extension that lowers his cap number in 2022. The former undrafted free agent from Iowa State has come a long way since being plucked off Jacksonville’s practice squad late in the 2018 season. He’s started 25 games for Green Bay, and while his numbers are underwhelming (108 catches for 1,441 yards and 14 touchdowns), his tenacious blocking is a big reason for the success of running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. That said, the offense as a whole would benefit from Lazard dropping down a spot or two on the depth chart.
🏈OREN BURKS HEADING TO SAN FRANCISCO
Oren Burks’ disappointing career with the Packers officially ended on Tuesday when the veteran inside linebacker signed a two-year contract worth $5 million with the 49ers. General manager Brian Gutekunst traded up to draft Burks in the third round in 2018, but he could never hold onto a starting job. The former Vanderbilt star wasn’t physical enough against the run, and despite beginning his college career as a safety, he lacked instincts in coverage. To Burks’ credit, he learned to play multiple positions and was always among the top performers on special teams. As of right now, depth at inside linebacker consists of veteran Ty Summers and unproven youngsters Isaiah McDuffie and Ray Wilborn.
🏈AARON RODGERS SIGNS MASSIVE EXTENSION
Aaron Rodgers finally signed his new contract, and as expected, the numbers are staggering. The back-to-back MVP will be paid a guaranteed $150.6 million over the next three seasons, including $59M in 2023. His salary-cap number for next season will be $28.6M – down from $46.6M. The Packers are counting on a huge increase in the cap to help soften the blow when Rodgers either retires or is released, but there will be a huge amount of dead money to absorb at that time. For example, the number would be $68M in 2024. Simply put, Packers fans are going to have to deal with a lot of losses in the second half of this decade. Hopefully, they’ll have the memory of another championship to help ease the pain.