Packers Bring Back DT B.J. Raji on One-Year Deal
The Green Bay Packers have had a quiet off-season. That is, at least when it comes to taking care of their biggest problems. With key holes at cornerback, linebacker and defensive line, the Packers were quickly headed for the 2015 NFL Draft with a lot more questions on defense than answers.
For the moment, one issue seems to be solved. Per reports, the Packers have retained nose tackle B.J. Raji on a one-year deal worth roughly $3.5 million. Raji was originally expected to pursue other possibilities but his market was quickly found to be cold. Green Bay had previously brought back fellow defensive tackle Letroy Guion to shore up the starting defensive line, and by keeping Raji the Packers keep their d-line from being a major problem area heading into the draft.
Raji can’t be where the Packers stop, however, as both he and Gion are only signed for one season and may not be back with the team beyond their current deals. Raji is easily the odd man out if Green Bay decides to keep just one of them next season, as he’s already going to be 29 in July and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career.
While this might go down as the last financial agreement between Raji and the green and gold, it’s still a good deal. Raji gets above market value considering his play and health, while Green Bay gets solid depth at a rotational piece that knows their system. Raji probably won’t end up playing a huge hand in whether or not Green Bay’s defense continues to improve in 2015, but he surely could be part of making sure it doesn’t crater, either.
With their top two defensive tackles on short-term deals, don’t be shocked if GM Ted Thompson still targets a 3-4 nose tackle early in this year’s draft. That being said, Green Bay has found a quick, temporary fix up front on their defensive line and can largely shift their focus to filling in their linebacker and cornerback holes.
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