We expected former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji was done with football when he unexpectedly announced he was taking an hiatus last offseason. That appears to be exactly the case.
Although Raji’s agent Brian Murphy said the Packers would love to have his client back, Raji is simply not interested in returning.
“When he made the decision it was to go home and take care of his family and be with them, and he’s still doing that,” Raji’s agent, Brian Murphy, told ESPN.com Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. “His family is his first priority. He hasn’t really thought about football.”
Raji stepped away from the game to help his elderly father take care of his mother and aunt, both of whom have battled illness.
While the Packers had a deal in place to re-sign Raji last offseason, there seemed to be declining interest in his services. The previous offseason saw Raji hit free agency to the sound of crickets. He ended up signing a one-year, $4 million deal to return to the Packers after a season in which he posted just 17 tackles and no sacks.
In 2015, Raji turned in another in a string of uninspiring campaigns with 22 tackles and a half a sack. That half a sack was actually the first sack credit Raji notched since 2011, when he had three.
It’s possible the Packers would give Raji a shot to come back at some point. You can’t teach size, after all. However, the diminishing returns on the field and time spent away from the game certainly point to that not happening