When will deals get done for Rodgers, Matthews and Raji?

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Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews
Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews

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.


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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.


11 thoughts on “When will deals get done for Rodgers, Matthews and Raji?

  1. AR and CM3 deals are immenent. Raji will have to wait. That’s good because he hasn’t lived up to his 2013 salary yet. He’s on Ball’s schedule after the SB.

  2. I worry that Raji will pull a fat Albert a la Tennessee Titans 2010. He’ll play ridiculously well this year, and get a HUGE deal.. then disappear.

    Better to lock him up for a middle level salary for 5-6 years before that could come to fruition.

  3. I thought that after watching Raji’s 2010 season, we would be seeing a dominant DL the rest of his career, which isnt the case. Raji is good, but, he’s not elite.

    Im curious to see what Ted offers BJ. With Picket aging, andWorthy hurt, I hope Raji doesn’t end up being over paid. Ted sometimes over pays his own draft picks. I hope we land a quality DL early in the draft this year

  4. i am thinking raji will get a deal in the 6-7 million dollar range per year. i would hate to pay him that much, but i think that is where he will be.

    1. I would guess in the 7M range, possibly a bit higher. He’s already over 5M IIRC and he will get an increase. Thompson will get him locked up during or after the season. If you subtract about 2 or 3M from Pickets due to his aging and give that to Raji, its not a big increase in cap expense. Pickett will get re-sign too IMO, but at a lower salary.

      1. The issue is, If he gets that much, it would be grossly overpaying him.

        I certainly hope that the Packers would limit their value of Raji’s services at 5m a year, maybe add some incentives, but let him walk for more than that.

        I unfortunately think that FireMMnow is about spot on with his range, and that means the Packers will probably over pay Raji to stay because the Packers often would rather overpay a good-not-great known commodity (like AJ Hawk)than risk letting him go and end up bringing in an outsider who may or may not be worth the money and may bring with him some unforeseen baggage.

        If the Packers pay Raji over 7m a year, it’s a big mistake. They need to let him walk.

        1. That’s your opinion. I don’t think it would be grossly overpaying him. Who would you get to replace Raji? A draft pick is more a gamble than Raji, and even tho his sacks weren’t there he still got pressure on the QB. Raji is still the NT that’s gonna take over for Pickett in a year or 2. And he’s a better run defender than you give him credit for. Losing him would be a monumental blow to the DL. He’s the one guy who plays far more snaps than anyone else, he gets pressure on the QB and is damn good vs the run. Teams would be lining up to pay Raji 7M per year on the open market.

  5. People never point out the fact that Raji hasn’t been the same player he was as when he played along side Jenkins. I’ve been a supporter of 1st keeping Jenkins, and then possibly bringing him back. Given TT draft record for drafting D-Lineman Jenkins/Raji clearly was a combination that worked.

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