Unlike last offseason, not much has been said about Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
That will happen when you don’t play a down all season. Raji tore a biceps tendon during training camp and missed the entire year, so there isn’t much to say about the big man at the moment.
Last offseason was a different story.
Raji entered free agency after his worst season as a pro — a laughable 19 tackles and no sacks. Despite that truly terrible stat line, Raji went ahead and tested free agency (reportedly turning down a fairly lucrative Packers’ offer during the season). Surprisingly, probably to only him and his agent, his phone didn’t ring and he ended up taking a one-year, $4 million deal to return to the Packers.
This offseason, Raji has even less leverage.
The difference is, he probably understands the dynamics of his situation a little better this time around.
That should make re-signing the former first-round pick a mere formality if the Packers want him back and it appears they do. According to Packer Report, the Packers are indeed expected to bring Raji back for another go.
And why not?
The former first-round pick will come cheap and he’ll again have something to prove. After being shown the harsh reality that he actually needed to earn his money last offseason, Raji was a madman in camp.
If he can duplicate that effort and stay healthy, the Packers will have themselves a very solid contributor at a very cheap price.
Assuming Letroy Guion doesn’t end up in prison and the Packers bring him back, they suddenly have a very strong tandem in the middle of their defensive line.
Little risk. High reward.
It was very clear during the season that the Packers and Raji had a mutual interest in at least another year if not longer. Raji as an injured reserve, soon to be free agent stayed with the team. It is common for injured reserve players on their last year of a contract to rehab away from the team. Hell some with years remaining on their contracts rehab away from the team. In addition the Packers took Raji to away games including the Seattle game, and that is even less common. No way either party would have been so accommodating with out strong mutual interest. The writing has been on the wall for a while.
With Letroy possibly coming back and Raji having something to prove, this could be nice for the D-line.
And don’t forget Daniels and Jones.
Now draft a couple of Beasts for ILB an suddenly we are solid up the middle….
Get two “beast” ILB somehow, somewhere. If not, let’s put Raji there:)
Raji’s a question mark ’cause he’s sucked since his rookie year. Does he wake up and smell the money? Leroy, his gun, his cash and his weed a sure thing? Datone another of TT’s questionable #1’s that’s yet to show up. Daniels is the only sure thing. Need a stuffer and two ILB’s to complete the puzzle. NT far from settled
I guess you didn’t watch many games last year. Jones showed up many times, particularly in the pass rush; he certainly improved greatly over year one.
Watched ’em all…Have any stats relative to tackles and sacks to back up that statement?? Thought not!
Tackles and sacks are the only thing that makes a difference on the field.
I thought Jones was showing up also. Another thing Jones was doing well as the season went on was he was clearing out blockers for others to get to the QB. Jones is no Justin Smith, but he was performing some dirty work for others, and that is a big part of a good pass rushing team. Jones was also the spy on several plays. Every team needs those guys.