4:55pm: The Packers have officially announced Raji’s new deal.
2:27pm: Defensive lineman B.J. Raji has accepted an offer from the Packers to return to Green Bay, reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). It’s a one-year deal worth $4MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds that Raji will return to nose tackle (Twitter link).
Raji, a mainstay on the Packers’ defensive line for the last several years, had played nose tackle for the first four seasons of his career before playing primarily at defensive end last season. The 27-year-old 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), so a return to his natural position makes sense.
Raji reportedly rejected a contract offer from the Packers during the season that would have been worth $8MM per year, so after seeing his value decline leading up to free agency, his decision to accept a one-year contract likely suggests that he wants to rebuild that value before testing the market again a year from now.
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com originally reported last week that Raji was close to accepting a one-year offer from the Packers, but the big defensive lineman decided to see what else was out there before agreeing to return to Green Bay. At the time of that initial report, it was suggested that the Packers’ offer would have a max value of $6.5MM, so we’ll see if the deal agreed upon this week includes incentives.
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