Inked to a one-year, prove-it deal last offseason, defensive tackle B.J. Raji apparently did enough for the Green Bay Packers to have interest in him returning.
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Packers, Raji Open To Return
Thursday, Feb. 25
“B.J. likes everyone in Green Bay, and everyone there likes him,” Raji’s agent, Brian Murphy, said Thursday, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “Usually when that happens, you have a chance to get something done.”
Raji, 29, has spent his entire seven-year NFL career in Green Bay after being taken ninth overall in 2009. He made 22 tackles and had 0.5 sacks last season, returning from a torn right biceps that cost him the entire 2014 campaign. The half-sack was Raji's first since 2011, as his role has evolved more into plugging up gaps for Packers playmakers.
The Packers have signed Raji to one-year contracts in each of the last two offseasons. His 2015 deal was incentive-based, with him earning up to $4 million based on hitting certain criteria. Despite his numbers not looking impressive from a counting stats perspective, the Packers have come to count on his steady hand against the run.
Most expect Raji to earn a multiyear deal this time around, though it's unclear if that will come from Green Bay.
"I knew I had it in me, but this is a show-me business, this is a show-me league, this is the most popular sport in this country," Raji said in January, per Rob Reischel of the Journal Sentinel. "So I didn't really have a lot to prove to anybody. But I felt like the talent was within me all along, and it was about displaying it, and I believe I did."
The Packers have already locked up defensive lineman Letroy Guion, so it's probably less than a 50-50 chance Raji returns. Green Bay would likely rather use its cap space to fill holes elsewhere on the roster, and players of Raji's caliber can typically be found in the bargain bin in free agency. That said, there were many who wrote off Raji returning before so anything's possible.
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