It was reported by Bob McGinn and Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday that the Green Bay Packers and defensive lineman B.J. Raji are working on a short-term deal, which would keep the soon-to-be free agent in Green Bay for at least one more year for $4 million in 2014.
It was initially reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter that Raji and the Packers were close to finalizing a one-year deal, but the report by McGinn and Silverstein says that is not a given.
The new contract offer is a far cry from the offer the Packers had on the table earlier this season for Raji, which was also reported by McGinn. The big defensive lineman from Boston College could have signed a deal that would have netted him $8 million a year.
That offer was eventually pulled from the table by the Packers after Raji had the worst statistical year of his career.
By still working on a deal, it shows a willingness by Raji and his agent to work with the Packers. The deal may or may not get done, but the dialogue is still there.
The agent for Raji is David Dunn, who also represents both quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews. Before the 2013 NFL draft last year, the Packers worked out deals with Dunn that gave both Rodgers and Matthews lucrative long-term extensions.
Rodgers became the highest-paid player in the NFL, as a matter of fact. According to NFL.com, the new deal was worth $110 million over five years. That included getting a whopping $40 million in the first year. The deal averages $22 million per year.
And just a week before that, Dunn negotiated a five-year, $66 million contract for Matthews, which made him the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL.
I would think Dunn was pretty happy about the commission he received from both those deals.
I'm sure Raji and Dunn regret not taking the earlier $8 million offer from the Packers. But last year Raji said that he loves playing in Green Bay, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Dunn obviously has a very good relationship with the Packers, and this new deal could be a win-win for all parties involved.
Raji would get a chance to have a better season in 2014, where he would play primarily the nose tackle position. That is the position in which he has had his best success with the Packers.
If Raji does have a good year next season, then Dunn can negotiate with the Packers on a long-term deal for No. 90.
The Packers would be happy as well, because they would able to keep Raji at a much lower cost in 2014 than they had imagined prior to last season—plus they can keep a big body at the center of their defensive line who can tie up multiple blockers.
Time will tell if this deal will get done, but it certainly proves that the Packers and Dunn always keep the door open in terms of working out contract deals for the various clients he represents.
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