Through free agency, Ted Thompson’s Green Bay Packers have been Ted Thompson’s Green Bay Packers. Deafeningly quiet.
But in the coming weeks, the Packers will look to lock up their two most important players—Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews.
According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers are closer to a deal with Matthews than they are with Rodgers. But ideally, the team would extend both contracts before offseason workouts being April 15.
Packers beat writer Wes Hodkiewicz joined me and PackersTalk.com contributor Jacob Westendorf Wednesday to talk about the team’s impending contract extensions.
“Rodgers is going to be the highest paid quarterback in NFL history,” Hodkiewicz said. “I think that’s all but established. It’s just a matter of when they’re going to get that done.”
ESPN insider Adam Schefter suggested that Matthews is expected to get about $13 million per year on his new contract. Hodkiewicz says Rodgers should receive a contract worth between $22-25 million per season.
So with over $30 million potentially being tied up into two players, B.J. Raji could find himself in an interesting position.
After being selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Raji has been moved around the team’s defensive line. He enjoyed perhaps his best season in 2010, racking up 6.5 sacks before being named to his first Pro Bowl a year later.
But Rodgers and Matthews are clearly the Packers’ top two long-term priorities, leaving Raji’s future in question.
Rodgers, Matthews and Raji are each represented by David Dunn. Having the same agent could make it easier to fit all three players’ new contracts in the payroll.
And Hodkiewicz expects the team to reach an agreement with Raji as well.
“Ryan Pickett was one of their top guys in salary, and he’s going to come off the books next season,” Hodkiewicz said. “With Pickett coming off the books, that opens some cap space to invest into Raji.”
Just how much money Raji will get in his extension is up for debate. Teams that run a 4-3 defensive scheme may be willing to pay Raji more, as 4-3 defensive tackles are generally counted on to make more “impact plays” than linemen in a 3-4.
“There’s a good chance that all three of those guys are locked up going into next year.”
It’s been a quiet offseason in Green Bay, but perhaps not for too much longer.——————
Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.