Green Bay Packers receiver Allen Lazard was fined by the NFL for taunting the three Miami Dolphins defenders he knocked to the turf.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers receiver Allen Lazard counted one, two, three Miami Dolphins on the ground.
The NFL counted one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 … thousand. Or, to be precise, $10,609. That’s how much Lazard was fined by the NFL for taunting following his highlight-reel block that sprung Aaron Jones for an 18-yard during the fourth quarter of the Packers’ victory on Christmas.
Pro Football Talk was the first to report the fine. Lazard on Friday said he’d appeal.
Lazard was hesitant at first to discuss.
“I’ll let you tell it,” he said.
Told by this reporter that it seemed stupid, Lazard said, “I think it doesn’t make sense to highlight a play and to use it on your social-media platforms to give it more attention but also to have a negative connotation. It’s very contradictory.”
For what it’s worth, the NFL did not have a clip of Lazard’s viral block posted to its Twitter feed on Friday afternoon. The team posted it twice, once to highlight the play (without the pointing) and once with an Aaron Rodgers interview clip (and including the pointing).
Regardless, the fine seems absurd. It would have been one thing had Lazard stood over the pile of Dolphins and pointed at them. In reality, Lazard stood about 4 yards from the carnage and counted one, two, three. It seemed more playful and celebratory than malicious.
The block garnered more buzz on social media than on the sideline and meeting room.
“He’s been doing this for a long time, so this is nothing new,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “With all due respect to Allen, we’re not surprised by that. We’re not. We’re excited about it, but we’re not surprised.
“He’s been doing that for a long time; I think just about all the time he’s been here. That’s an important part of his game. That’s what got him on the field a bunch when he was a third and fourth guy, and that’s what keeps him on the field and makes us love him so much, because he gives up his body like that, consistently. You want your best players to be your best people, and Allen definitely is one of our best people.”
Lazard is one of the team’s most valuable performers. He’s second on the team with 51 receptions, first with 688 receiving yards and tied for second with five touchdowns. And he’s a constant menace as a blocker. There aren’t many explosive runs that don’t include No. 13 doing some of the dirty work.
“He opens up your playbook,” offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich said. “Obviously, he can do a great job in the passing game with a bunch of different routes and depths in the routes and all that stuff. But he also allows you to attack certain defenses where normally you would need a tight end to do the blocking you can use him in a lot of instances to give yourself advantage when you put a receiver out there as opposed to a tight end. Maybe get one less big on the field, more DBs, kind of get more advantageous looks to run the ball. He’s definitely a really good piece for our offense to give us the best schematic advantage.”
For his work, Lazard had a game ball hanging at his locker on Friday.
Because of his value to the team, Lazard probably could solicit donations to get the fine paid by his teammates. Asked jokingly about it, he said was not planning to do so.
So, Lazard will pay the fine – whatever it winds up being upon appeal – as absurd as it is based on the mere act of counting.
“They love it because it gives the NFL more attention and the fans enjoy it but they somehow don’t condone it,” Lazard said. “It’s very contradictory.”