NFC Notes: Raji, Brees, Seahawks, Rams

Packers president Mark Murphy was surprised by B.J. Raji‘s decision to walk away from football, but he respects the former NFL defensive lineman’s decision, as ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky writes.

“Oh yeah, he had been communicating with [team contract negotiator Russ Ball] and we thought we had a deal done,” the Packers president said. “I think it surprised his agent. I’ll tell you, I really respect B.J. It’s not an easy decision. The easy thing to do is take the money. Especially the letter he wrote, he obviously thought things through. No, I was surprised. I’m happy for him. He obviously gave it some thought.”

While Raji won’t be playing in 2016, he left the door open for a return in the future, and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy believes the big defensive tackle will eventually return. “It would have to be at the right time,” McCarthy said, per Demovsky.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees says that extension talks are ongoing, though he does not know when or if a deal will be worked out, as Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune writes. “I don’t know that it is something that will be done next week or before the end of the year or next year or when,” Brees said on 104.5-FM in Baton Rouge. Brees, 37, is entering the final year of a five-year, $100MM deal he signed in 2012.
  • Asked today about the message Kam Chancellor posted to Instagram last week indicating that he’s “not going anywhere,” Seahawks GM John Schneider confirmed that the safety will “absolutely” be a Seahawk in 2016, though he didn’t offer any specifics on whether a specific conversation or incident prompted Chancellor to post that message. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has the details.
  • Schneider also said today that the Seahawks have not yet received Marshawn Lynch‘s retirement papers, but said there’s no rush to make a roster move involving Lynch — for cap purposes, the club may wait until after June 1 to do anything with Lynch (Twitter link via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com).
  • Having lost Rodney McLeod in free agency, the Rams continue to monitor the market in search of potential help at the free safety position, writes Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Lions GM Bob Quinn indicated today that the team’s extension discussions with 2013’s draft class likely won’t really heat up until after the draft, per Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter link). Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay are, of course, the two most noteworthy extension candidates who fit that bill.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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