11:01am: Jason Wilde passes along a report from his ESPN colleague Steven Haywood, who hears from a source that Green Bay’s offer to Raji could be worth up to $6.5MM with incentives (Twitter link). It sounds as if Raji plans to sign with the Packers, though nothing is official yet.
8:50am: According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers have made one- and two-year offers to Raji. The one-year offer is worth about $4MM.
7:47am: The Packers and B.J. Raji are close to reaching a one-year agreement that will keep the defensive tackle in Green Bay, reports ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Raji is coming off a down year, and is hoping to bounce back in 2014 before potentially hitting the open market a year from now, according to Schefter.
However, a pair of sources have told Aaron Nagler of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) “not so fast” on Raji, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears that all options continue to be in play for the former ninth overall pick. The Packers continue to have exclusive negotiating rights with Raji until Saturday, and Green Bay is the only club that can sign him before Tuesday, so we’ll have to wait and see if the two sides get anything finalized by then.
Raji, 27, reportedly rejected a contract offer from the Packers in 2013 that would have been worth $8MM per year, and his new deal figures to be worth less than that. The big defensive lineman failed to record a sack for the second straight season in 2013, and ranked 43rd out of 45 qualified 3-4 defensive ends, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
As Schefter notes, Raji’s role in Green Bay’s defense often involves eating up blockers rather than actually making plays, and there were question marks about his fit going forward when a February report suggested the Packers would be seeking smaller, more athletic linemen. Head coach Mike McCarthy threw cold water on that idea at the combine in Indianapolis, so we’ll see if the front office backs up his comments by locking up Raji for another year. If he does return to Green Bay, Raji figures to return to his old nose tackle position, tweets Rapoport.