The Green Bay Packers won’t have to worry about signing nose tackle B.J. Raji to a new deal. Raji has decided he’s retiring, although he left the door open for a return beyond 2016.
Raji, who will turn 30 this year, issued this statement to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
I am taking a hiatus from the NFL and will not play during the 2016 NFL season. This decision was made after hours of conversation with close family members and mentors and considerable self-introspection and is one in which I am absolutely certain. I cannot rule out a return to the NFL in the future, but I will definitely not be playing during the 2016 season.
Raji went on to say that he didn’t feel he was totally committed to football, despite having a new deal with the Packers on the table.
Raji’s best season came in 2010, when he had 39 tackles and 6.5 sacks. He made the Pro Bowl the next season, when he recorded 22 tackles and three sacks.
The return Raji gave the Packers diminished from there.
The past two offseasons, Raji has found himself as a low-demand free agent. Each year, he agreed to come back to the Packers on a one-year deal.
Not much appeared to change this offseason. Raji was again a free agent and he again generated minimal interest, with Carolina being the first team connected to Raji other than the Packers.
The Packers will be fine without Raji, who had 22 tackles and a half a sack in 2015. They re-signed Letroy Guion before free agency began. Guion played well on the nose in 2014 when Raji was sidelined.
The main order of business now is to determine who can step in for Mike Pennel at defensive end while he’s serving his four-game suspension.
In his seven-year career, Raji totaled 151 tackles and 11 sacks.
Well now, that was a bit unexpected
no big loss
Man, B.J Raji was the heart of our defense, I understand letroy is going to be the man in the middle now but I’m going to miss Raji
Mike Daniels was pegging Raji when he said after Guion was signed :
“Can’t win the Super Bowl with “nice guys” on defense. Ask the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks, and Ravens. Glad to see Letroy come back #Packers”
8:54 AM – 12 Feb 2016.
Glad to see Raji can finally admit he is not committed to football.
Maybe he can hit the motivational speaker circuit with Je Johnson and Tony Mandarich.
You can’t fire me! I quit!
Ok I just read Raji’s statement so maybe I was a little harsh, but in my opinion he hasn’t been all in for a while.
Good luck BJ. I hope you figure out what makes you happy.
I may have been a little harsh also. It is hard to question a person’s motives when it comes to family health. As Lombardi said “Think of only three things: your God, your family and the Green Bay Packers-in that order.”
I do find it interesting that the Packers had a nice long term deal on the table and Raji had to save the Packers from overspending on one of their own free agents.
Another high round defensive draft pick bust……
can you say Pot Roast? Surely he can’t be too rich for TT’s budget.
That’s too bad, I was always hoping he would find himself again. Always been a model player for the packers, and never would hear anything negative about him.
I hope he finds a calling in life outside of football. Always got the feeling he was an immensely proud person and I am sure the last few seasons of bad production have really worn on him and probably played a role in his decision.
YOU SEE?! IF THEY’D JUST PONY UP A SIGN DAMON HARRISON THIS WOULD BE A NON ISSUE. NOW WE NEED TO DRAFT TWO NT/ DT PROSPECTS IN IN THE UPCOMING DRAFT. GREAT, MORE YOUTH TO DEVELOP IN 2-3 YEARS!!!
GUION IS NOT A NT BY THE WAY, HE’S A DE IN A 3-4. HE CAN PLAY THE NOSE ONLY IN PASSING DOWNS.
Wasn’t it just 2 years ago where Raji stated that he lost his passion and dedication to football?
He then followed that with saying he was newly invigorated and dedicated once again. Then he got injured and missed the season, but…he came back last season, and in the 1st 3 games he looked like the Raji from 2010, which i gave him props for at the time. Then he fell off the radar for the rest of the season.
Somethings going on with him, whether he wants to be with his family, or he doesn’t care about football anymore, possibly a combination.
Ted must really, really like this guy as a person, as he kept underperforming, but Ted would stick millions under his nose time and time gain. Howard hit it right on the head, stating Raji saved the Packers from themselves. I would love to know what Teds offer was.
At the end of the day, by all accounts, Raji seems like a nice guy, and he should do what makes him happy. As a fan, i don’t want anyone on the Packers just going through the motions for a paycheck, so i give Raji props for that and wish him and his family well.
^PF4L- agreed. I actually forgot that there was mention he was “rededicating” himself prior to the 2014 season. I kind kind of doubt he comes back. It is certainly not for everyone to have a full-time, or even a most of the time dedication to football. Really, if truth be told, most don’t fall into either category.