GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a series of no-brainer transactions, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst handed out exclusive-rights free-agent tenders to defensive back Chandon Sullivan, receivers Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow, defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster and tight end Robert Tonyan.
Exclusive-rights free agents have only one or two seasons of experience. Really, they’re not free agents at all. If tendered – typically with a league-minimum contract – they automatically remain with their team.
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Picking up Sullivan from the Eagles after last year’s draft was one of Gutekunst’s many unsung moves. According to Sports Info Solutions, he allowed a scant 6-of-21 passing for 74 yards with one interception and five additional breakups. In other words, he almost got his hands on as many footballs as the receivers he was covering.
Kick-started by his four catches for 65 yards and one touchdown in rescuing the Packers in Week 6 vs. Detroit, Lazard caught 35-of-52 passes (67.3 percent) for 477 yards (13.6 average) and three touchdowns. All of that came over 11 games. Projected to 16 games, that works out to 51 receptions, 694 yards and four touchdowns. Of 79 receivers to be targeted 50 times, Lazard ranked 42nd with 1.62 yards per pass route, according to Pro Football Focus.
Kumerow caught 12-of-21 passes (57.1 percent) for 219 yards and one touchdown in the regular season and added a 23-yard catch vs. San Francisco in the championship game. Of 131 receivers targeted at least 20 times, he ranked 91st with 1.20 yards per pass route, according to PFF.
An undrafted free agent in 2018, Lancaster quickly surpassed Montravius Adams as the No. 3 tackle on the defensive line in 2019. Lancaster finished 12th on the team with 36 tackles. Having played 381 snaps, that equates to 10.58 snaps per tackle. As a rookie, he wound up with 32 tackles (8.47 snaps per tackle).
There were high hopes for the athletic Tonyan but they didn’t come to fruition. He caught 10-of-15 passes (66.7 percent) for 100 yards (10.0 average) and one touchdown. He missed five games and most of a sixth with a hip injury that limited him to 193 snaps. He had offseason surgery. He could be in line for a bigger role with the release of Jimmy Graham, who signed a shockingly expensive deal with Chicago.