6

March

Packers Reportedly Nearing Deal with Free Agent D-Lineman

B.J. Raji

The return of Raji would maintain some continuity on a defensive line that stands to see many changes this season

The Green Bay Packers are reportedly closing in on a one-year deal with free-agent-to-be and defensive lineman B.J. Raji.  This news came according to Adam Schefter at ESPN and via Jason Wilde at ESPN Milwaukee:

This news comes as a bit of a surprise to some, as the talk about Raji seemed to center around his wanting to possibly play in a different type of defense.  There was also talk about the Packers wanting to get more athletic on the defensive line, something that may not bode well for a lineman tipping the scales at close to 340 pounds.

No figures have been announced or released yet, but the fact that Raji would be taking a one-year deal in Green Bay versus testing the free agent market likely signals that he may not have felt that he would receive the type of offer he wanted.

Statistically speaking, Raji had one of his poorest seasons in 2013, tallying just 17 tackles and only three for a loss of yardage.

Another signal of this potential Raji deal could be the Packers intentions early in May’s draft.  With Raji returning, there would seem to be less chance that the Packers would be looking at a defensive lineman in round one.  Anything is possible under Ted so don’t rule it out, but it would at least appear that Green Bay has their eyes on another position early on.

Stay tuned for contract details if and when they are announced.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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55 Responses to “Packers Reportedly Nearing Deal with Free Agent D-Lineman”

  1. SDPackfan says:

    Better change the narrative from Raji leaving is no big deal to wow genius TT has done it again by resigning one of the “stars” of the D just like he did with Hawk, B. Jones, and Burnett.

    No doubt the D will be stellar yet again with B.J. Back in the fold.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 11

    • JimR_in_DC says:

      What a waste of money and salary cap.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

      • SchenySchen says:

        Jim, “waste of money and salary cap”…we don’t know what the deal is yet? How can you speculate, or do you feel Raji is literally worth nothing? If that is the case, that is certainly your right. However, try thinking about it this way; if Raji plays to his ability in a “prove-it” year, he will be significantly better next year, which will improve the D short-term. If that happens, he signs somewhere else for a larger contract after the season and we get a better compensatory pick for him, benefitting us long-term. — As mentioned in the article, this may open up additional options for us in the draft, which is a good thing. If the deal is for $4M or less, I am fine with it, because he knows he has to play better to get the contract he really wants. GoPack!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

        • JimR_in_DC says:

          I hope at the end of the season I get to say I was wrong about Raji and the $4M we’re, uh, investing in him. My instincts tell me we should’ve let him go, and use that $4M elsewhere.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • BartySmith says:

      I love it. Yesterday, the story was the Pack will not miss Raji when it was believed he would sign elsewhere.

      Now that TT has decided to bring him back it is all, well perhaps Raji will be hungry in a contract year (wasn’t last season a contract year?), it is only $4M (don’t we have other areas where $4M could be spent?), and he will be a true NT next season (why wasn’t he used that way in 2013 if that is his strong suit?).

      The Pack loves to re-sign their own, whether they deserve the contract or not.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

      • 1stngoal says:

        They still wouldn’t miss him. The only difference now, is that they get him back on terms more favorable to the Packers. Obviously Raji figured out that his market value wasn’t anywhere near where he thought it would be, and is no doubt kicking himself now, for not taking the 8 million per year offer that was previously on the table…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Go Pack Go says:

      Signing Raji to a 1-year deal for $4,000,000 is not a big risk.

      What is odd is that he played so poorly last year that you have to questions why GB would want him back at any price.

      The only explanation I can think of is that he was totally misused as a DE and, as reported, will shift back to NT.

      Then again, MM went on record to praise Dom and to scoff at the notion that Dom’s scheme was in any way responsible for the D’s poor play, again, in 2013.

      So again, this is not a bad move financially but it is a curious move personnel-wise.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • Stroh says:

        Thank You! Been sayin it fir more than a year now. Put him at NT, his natural position and lets see how he does. He doesn’t have the length or mobility to play 34 DE. Was needed to play it more to accommodate Pickett.

        What’s that you were saying Opie?!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

        • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

          Man. You are such a tool.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

        • Oppy says:

          …I was saying you either don’t watch, or don’t understand, Defensive line play.

          Actually, I wasn’t saying that until now. But I sure was thinking it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. BRinMilwaukee says:

    Ugh, we’re going to resign Raji and (possibly) let Shields walk?? Does anyone think they might move Raji to nose tackle, or is that a dumb idea?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • SchenySchen says:

      BR, the signing of Raji has no bearing on what we do with Shields. None. The only thing affecting our signing of Shields is if Rosenhaus/Shields want more than the approximate $6/7Million that has been reported the Packers feel Shields is worth. There is no correlation in my opinion. — Yes, they will most likely move Raji back to NT. GoPack!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • 1stngoal says:

        I hope that you are right and they move him back to NT. Maybe, if he has a good year there, the Packers still sign him next season (or perhaps during the season?)as the long-term replacement for Pickett…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • 1stngoal says:

      This signing doesn’t automatically mean Shields walks. If anything this one-year deal probably increases the likelihood that Shields gets re-signed by the Packers…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    Raji on a 1 year “prove it” deal provides some continuity at DL. IF he decides to ball out this year, we’ll get a better DL as a result. Then he can get his payday elsewhere. If he decides to pack it in like last year, then at least the $ damage will be minimal. I wouldn’t say I’m “excited” about this signing, but at least it removes the NEED of ANOTHER DL in the 1st round and give Datone more time to grow into his role.

    This probably means the end of Pick’s time in GB. What a great Packer.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • SchenySchen says:

      Pick was a great Packer. I love that guy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Oppy says:

      I think it’s a one year, “Uh-oh. We don’t have a true nose tackle on our roster once Pick retires or is released. We better keep Raji here for a year while we either draft and train a player or find a guy in FA who can play the nose.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. JimR_in_DC says:

    I would’ve been a lot happier to sign Pickett to a two-year deal and let Rafi walk.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    • Savage57 says:

      Heartbreaking to think of Globby McChub staying and Pick moving on/retiring. I was so hoping that Minny or Chi would throw some serious $$ at The Blob and the Pack would get a 3 comp in next years draft.

      All Pickett does is show up and go to work. Good guy, good work ethic, good leadership.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Razer says:

        SO true about Pickett – a pro’s pro. Guys like him and Woodson show up every week and earn their pay. As Bobby Orr say’s “play to your highest level every night”. Raji didn’t demonstrate this high level enough to warrant more than a one year contract. What does that say?!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. JimR_in_DC says:

    I meant Raji. Mi speeling is bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. marpag says:

    I’ll withhold judgment until…

    A) it actually happens, and
    B) the terms are released

    Raji was ceartinly disappointing, but he doesn’t flat-out suck either. Let’s see what the deal is, if it even is at all.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. Since '61 says:

    Hopefully, Raji is signing at a reasonable price and hoping to play back to a level where he has some value as an FA. I would prefer to just let him walk. Maybe the Packers can trade him and get some used cleats for him. Only time will tell. Let’s see if the deal actually goes through first. Thanks, Since ’61

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • JimR_in_DC says:

      A lot of hoping going on this off-season.

      I’m hoping to win the lotto, but I don’t make my financial plans based on it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • JimR_in_DC says:

      I love the trade idea, Since ’61. Used cleats for him would be a steal!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. DC Packer says:

    JS is reporting the potential deal is for 1 year at $4 million

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/248749241.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Charles Martin says:

    Really? Are you kidding me. Lets sign a fat blob that hasn’t done crap in 3 yrs. Yeah that makes sense. If he agreed to play for free would be the only way I would agree with his signing…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

    • marpag says:

      If true, I’ll take 1 year at 4 million.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • SchenySchen says:

        I’m not so sure, Marpag, can you get washed out by double-teams? …..:)

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

        • marpag says:

          Hell, I can get utterly destroyed by single-teams. You underestimate me, Grasshopper.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  10. GBPDAN says:

    If its true, 1 year at 4M, I’m OK with it also. Even though Raji has been a disappointment the last few years, trying to find athletic big body’s for the Dline is hard. Let’s say a decent DT wasn’t available at pick 21 and anyone decent at DTwas being out bid buy desperate teams in the FA market. ..where would we that find a guy to play in Rajis spot on D? Raji is better than nothing. This just give us a little bit of a insurance policy. I also think Raji gets it now. He would have to take half the money he was offered because he underperformed. If this doesn’t motivate him for one year, I don’t know what will and he will be gone

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • JimR_in_DC says:

      The final year of his old contract didn’t motivate him. Why should this new contract offer make any difference? Just throwing good money after bad.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. funcrusher says:

    This is really disappointing. I really wanted them to just cut ties with Raji. He’s fat, lazy and soft. I love TT, but it’s hard to jump on board with bringing him back. They could draft a mid-round NT and get the same production as Raji last year.

    Even worse, he could have a great season next year, sign a large long-term contract with the Packers in 2015,then pull an Albert Haynesworth.

    Don’t do it Ted!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • SchenySchen says:

      fun, you are correct that they could get the same production from a mid-round draft pick. I think the goal here is to get “better” production than that. Signing Raji will “hopefully” light the fire under him so that he does outperform a mid-round draft pick. Additionally, now we can spend a mid-round draft pick on one of the WR’s or some other position that this draft is apparently deep in. GoPack!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • funcrusher says:

        I know the goal is to get more production out of him, but last season was a contract year for him as well, and he was awful. Maybe a lack of interest in him this offseason has made the lightbulb go off, but even if he has a great year, then what? Would you really trust signing him to a long term deal after? I wouldn’t.

        As far as the draft goes, I’m going to assume they’ll take a NT regardless, since Pickett’s probably gone. Maybe Boyd would be able to rotate in, but I’m not sure.

        Whatever happens, I hope it works out for the best.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. GBPDAN says:

    I agree that fatass Raji has been lazy and should be gone. But it usually takes a rookie DL a year to develop, so who knows what kind of production the Pack would get with a rookie. I think for 4M for one year, it’s not a bad deal for Raji. I read on the JS site that the Pack also offered a 2 year deal and it looks like Raji will opt for a 1 year. This tells me that fatass might actually try this year and then try to reap the rewards next year. I think Raji woke up and realizes that you actually have to work for a big pay day. Having Raji one more year will help if we don’t find an instant contributer to replace him this year. TT still needs to address this position now, because even if Raji has a good year, the Packers need to let him hit the FA market next year because he has proven that he will get soft once he’s paid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Stroh says:

    Putting Raji at NT and having Jones Worthy and Daniels DOES make the DL more athletic! Who’s more athletic at NT Raji or Pickett? Definitely Raji… are those other players mentioned more athletic than Raji and/or Jolly? Clearly!

    You still have to have a true NT to take on the double teams.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Savage57 says:

      So why re-sign Raji? He can’t handle one-on-ones. Double teams are going to look like Moses is playing center for the other guys.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • Oppy says:

        Savage, some people don’t get what the NT in the 3-4 is supposed to do.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        • Stroh says:

          It depends on the scheme Opie. Some 34 D’s are a one gap scheme and some are 2 gap. Guess you don’t understand the difference.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  14. Nikko says:

    Why is everyone calling Raji fat as an insult? He’s supposed to be fat. He’s a 34 Dlineman!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Charles Martin says:

      Nikko, fat is one thing, but being a complete lazy waste of space is another. Raji is a lazy fat azz that doesn’t want to play anymore. He wants a payday so he can jackoff into the sunset.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  15. Icebowler says:

    I loved Pick, but his decline was quite steep last year. Josh Boyd isn’t ready to play NT full time. There aren’t any pure 3-4 NT’s available in FA. Unless we got Nix in the first round, there aren’t any other sure fire starters at the position in this years draft. Not ideal, but playing Raji at NT next year is our best option right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • SchenySchen says:

      Great point about the lack of NT’s in the draft. This way, we hedge our bet and don’t feel like it’s Nix or bust at #21. GoPack!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • funcrusher says:

      I don’t remember a draft where there were ever a ton of great NT prospects. It’s just a hard size to find.

      This year still has some good ones. Nix, Hageman, DaQuan Jones all have a lot of upside. I like Daniel McCullers later. He’s huge and could really eat up blockers. Of course for that to matter, we’ll have to get some ILB’s who can actually make plays.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Charles Martin says:

    Evidently the fat jaba the hut didn’t make a big splash in free agency. Therefore TT will take his extremely fat lazy azz back. Remember change is scary and below average rocks. TT’s motto…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. tim says:

    Its a paycut for Raji, rightfully so. Maybe it’ll be a wake-up call too. I don’t think 4 million bucks for Raji is out of line. No matter what else transpires, it give help and buys time for boyd and other young d linemen to develop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. larry valdes says:

    I will keep picket at nt and let raji walk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. larry valdes says:

    I will keep picket at nt and let raji walk.use the 4 millions to sign shilds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Newhaven says:

    Polar Bear needs to do the smart thing and let Raji walk! I would rather see a rookie playing NT then the pillsbury dough boy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Charles Martin says:

    Seriously, 4 million a year to sit with your thumb up your azz and pretend you are a football player. I will do that for 1 million. TT please call…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. larry valdes says:

    Sign one of the dolphins nt and kiss him good bye and get the safety from the dolphins too and it will be a staring point too havin a super bowl defence first round a ilb 3 round a de3or4 a db comon ted do your job please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Shavager says:

    At this point there’s NO confirmation of any deal in making, Raji has not signaled any intention of signing with Packers. At least Sam Shield has been resigned–he was MOST important, keeping him in secondary for 4 more years. Don’t see Raji as being as important to resign now as he might’ve been pre-2013, his performance last year was disappointing, there are plenty of players that will be available willing to put out more effort.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Too much money for Raji because Raji does not want to play. He just isn’t a football player. Wastes a roster spot unless it is not guaranteed. Maybe Nix, who has had some medical issues, is off TT’s board. I would rather have Pickett for 1 or 2 years at 2.5 per year, not too much guaranteed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0