Green Bay Packers

Packers To Re-Sign B.J. Raji

3:22pm: According to Rapoport (via Twitter), Raji and the Packers have agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $3.5MM, with incentives that can increase the value to about $4MM.

10:24am: After reaching an agreement with Letroy Guion, the Packers also appear poised to retain another one of their free agent defensive tackles. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that B.J. Raji is expected to return to the Packers on a one-year contract. Earlier today, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com wrote that Green Bay had offered Raji a one-year deal worth less than $2MM.

Raji, 28, missed the entire 2014 campaign after tearing his right bicep during the preseason, but he stayed with the team throughout the season to rehab and should be back at full strength by training camp. The veteran has played in 76 games for the Packers since they drafted him ninth overall out of Boston College in 2009.

After spending several years as Green Bay’s nose tackle, Raji moved over to defensive end in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme during the 2013 season, and struggled with the transition. He had been expected to return to the nose tackle role last year before he landed on injured reserve.

Raji earned $4MM on his one-year deal with the Packers in 2014, so assuming he agrees to the terms reported by Demovsky, it looks like he’ll be accepting a sizable pay cut. However, it’s possible that his agreement with Green Bay will include incentives and/or per-game roster bonuses — because he didn’t play a single game last year, any per-game roster bonuses for Raji would be considered unlikely to be earned, meaning they wouldn’t initially count against the team’s cap.

Bill Huber of Packer Report initially reported last month that Raji would likely re-sign with the Packers.

Letroy Guion, Packers Agree To Deal

10:38am: Guion’s one-year deal with the Packers will be worth $2.75MM, a league source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

8:15am: The Packers and defensive tackle Letroy Guion have agreed to terms on a one-year contract that will keep Guion in Green Bay, reports Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Per Demovsky, the deal is expected to be officially finalized and signed tomorrow.

Guion, 27, had an effective first season with the Packers in 2014, starting all 16 games for the team and racking up 41 tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. However, he ran into some off-field trouble earlier this offseason, when he was pulled over for erratic driving — police found 357 grams of marijuana, $190K+ in cash, and an unloaded gun in his truck. Guion reached a plea deal last week and avoided prosecution.

Following the conclusion of his legal case, Guion reportedly visited the Seahawks on Friday. As I noted at the time, while many teams won’t let free agents leave the building without a contract, Seattle has a track record of bringing in players for visits and not signing them. That appears to be the case this time, as Guion will return to a Green Bay team that lost to the Seahawks in January’s NFC Championship game.

Guion’s previous one-year contract with the Packers was worth just under $1MM, and I’d expect his new deal to exceed that figure, even after his off-field incident. Financial terms of the deal aren’t yet known, however.

NFC Links: Peterson, Munnerlyn, Lacy

In some news in the NFC Saturday night …

  • One of the Cowboys‘ biggest fears in their debate on retaining NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray is that it would cost them the chance at adding long-coveted Adrian Peterson, sources told Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Cowboys’ rare offseason thrift may not preclude the notoriously splashy franchise from making a deal for native Texan Peterson. Despite Peterson’s $12.75MM salary, the 30-year-old running back could still be acquired via draft-weekend trade, per Hill.
  • The Vikings have not looked into free agents Michael Crabtree and Justin Blalock, notes Darren Wolfson of KSTP on Twitter.
  • After previously fearing his up-and-down play could result in his release one year into a three-year deal, Captain Munnerlyn is confident he can beat out the recently added Terence Newman for the starting job opposite Xavier Rhodes, reports Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. A four-year starter soon to be 27, Munnerlyn, who graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 37th-best corner (subscription required), probably has the inside track. Newman, PFF’s 56th-best corner in 2014, is 37 and signed a one-year, $2.5MM contract Friday — a lesser investment than the Vikings made in Munnerlyn (three-year, $11.25MM deal signed in ’14).
  • Mike McCarthy is attempting to keep Eddie Lacy fresh without taking him off the field on third downs, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Lacy’s snap totals spiked to more than 65% last season after hovering at an injury-reduced 60 as a rookie in 2013. Lacy’s touch total, however, declined from Year 1 to Year 2, however, and the Packers‘ powerful running back’s 246 carries didn’t reach the standard McCarthy planned before last season.
  • Washington represents another stop on Marcus Mariota‘s spring itinerary, and CSNWashington.com’s Tarik El-Bashir previews the summit (audio link). Sources have noted Washington either taking the Heisman winner at No. 5 or strongly considering it. The Jets were the latest team to publicly court the Oregon star.

NFC North Mailbags: Mathis, Long, Blalock

Here’s some of the chatter from the Saturday mailbags on the NFC North.

  • Evan Mathis could be in play for the Vikings if the Eagles release him as they’ve indicated they might, writes ESPN’s Ben Goessling. Although not willing to part with draft choices for the All-Pro guard, the Vikings are reportedly eyeing more interior help and could move for a soon-to-be-released player. Mathis has connections to Mike Zimmer and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson from his time with the Bengals and Panthers, respectively.
  • Stefen Wisniewski, conversely, is not on the Vikings’ radar due in part to the torn labrum he suffered last season, reports Goessling.
  • The Bears view Kyle Long as a candidate to move to tackle due to his athleticism, writes ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. Long started 31 games at right guard the past two years and Bears 2014 starters Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills were lower-tier tackles last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • Wright notes the Bears won’t go out of their way to take a quarterback or wide receiver at No. 7 despite the loss of Brandon Marshall or uncertainty surrounding Jay Cutler.
  • The Packers going after a cornerback in the first round to replace the departed Tramon Williams and Davon House is probably one of their top options, offers ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Green Bay, which hasn’t drafted a corner in Round 1 since Ahmad Carroll in 2004, could look at Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson at No. 30 if he’s still on the board, per Demovsky.
  • Wes Welker may have been a fall-back option had Randall Cobb opted to sign elsewhere, but the veteran slot target is not on the Packers’ radar now. Young backups Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis remain in the team’s developmental plans.
  • Like the Vikings, the Lions are also expected to add talent at guard, reports ESPN’s Mike Rothstein. Retaining 32-year-old Rob Sims or signing longtime Falcons starter Justin Blalock, also 32, are the Lions’ most likely routes in this pursuit, opines Rothstein. After a free agency period more notable for who they lost than who they’ve acquired, the Lions have just more than $5MM worth of cap space heading into the draft.
  • The only two starting lineup locks up front in Detroit are Larry Warford at right guard and Travis Swanson at center, notes Rothstein. Former tight end Michael Williams, who resided on the practice squad last season, could make a move toward the swing tackle spot.

NFC Notes: Guion, Seahawks, Rams, Falcons

With Letroy Guion‘s legal case now resolved, the Packers continue to explore a potential reunion with the free agent defensive lineman, but it sounds like he’s drawing interest from the team that knocked Green Bay out of the postseason earlier this year. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Guion visited the Seahawks today.

More than other most other teams in the NFL, Seattle has shown a willingness to bring in players for visits without necessarily pushing hard to sign him, so there’s certainly no guarantee Guion will become a Seahawk, but it appears the Packers aren’t his only suitor.

Let’s check in on a few more Friday items from across the NFC….

  • Despite acquiring Nick Foles from the Eagles, the Rams still intend to draft a quarterback, according to head coach Jeff Fisher (link via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Foles is entering the final year of his rookie contract, so St. Louis figures to use the 2015 season to determine whether or not the ex-Eagle can be the Rams’ QB of the future.
  • For now, T.J. Yates appears to be the favorite to back up starting quarterback Matt Ryan in Atlanta, but Falcons head coach Dan Quinn hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing a veteran like Matt Schaub, writes Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “Schaub is certainly somebody that we could [add],” Quinn said. “As we get through it, we’ll let you know if we go down that road.”
  • The Giants‘ five-year, $17.5MM contract for Dwayne Harris, which includes $7.1MM in guaranteed money, has taken its share of criticism over the last couple weeks. However, agent Chad Speck tells Jordan Raanan of NJ.com that 14 teams reached out to him about Harris, and the Giants “weren’t the only team involved in the numbers that Dwayne ultimately signed for.”
  • A pair of prospects who were dismissed from their respective college teams will visit the Vikings, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is scheduled to host cornerback Marcus Peters and wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

Extra Points: Revis, Chargers, Colts, Giants

The 2014 season, Darrelle Revis‘ lone campaign with the Patriots, was a hugely successful one for the 29-year-old. He took home his first Super Bowl ring in helping lead the Pats to a championship, also earning his sixth Pro Bowl invitation and fourth First-Team All-Pro selection, respectively. After New England declined Revis’ $20MM option for 2015 earlier this month, Revis returned to the Jets, with whom he spent 2007-12. It was believed the Pats made a strong effort to retain Revis long term, but the corner told a different story Wednesday to Michael Kay of ESPN Radio. According to Phil Perry of CSNNewEngland.com, Revis said New England’s offer “wasn’t in the ballpark” of the mega-deal to which the Jets ultimately signed him.

In a separate interview Wednesday, Revis listed the teams that pursued him to SiriusXM’s Adam Schein, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “(It) was the Packers, Steelers, Baltimore as well as Cleveland, the Chiefs, the Jets, and also the Pats, so there was a number of teams there,” said Revis.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune expects the Chargers to add another member to their backfield before the offseason is out. The team lost running back Ryan Mathews to free agency after only offering him a one-year deal, and is now looking for a replacement – one with a “physical, downhill” style – to join Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown. Per Gehlken, it’s unlikely they’ll swing a trade for the disgruntled Adrian Peterson, leaving the draft as the probable route. Gehlken speculates that Georgia’s Todd Gurley could be an option if the Chargers use the 17th overall pick on a runner.
  • Mike Wells of ESPN tweets that free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw is unlikely to return to the Colts next season. Bradshaw was highly effective for Indianapolis the last two years, but he missed 19 of 32 regular-season games with various injuries. Further, the Colts signed Frank Gore earlier this month to anchor their backfield.
  • Head coach Tom Coughlin admitted this morning that safety is “definitely” an area of concern for the Giants, and identified Chykie Brown and Bennett Jackson as cornerbacks who may be able to switch positions, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. The Giants pursued a number of free agent safeties, including Devin McCourty, but missed out on their top targets, and don’t have many viable starting options still in play.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

A look at Wednesday’s minor moves:

  • The Buccaneers waived linebacker Brandon Magee, according to Scott Smith of the team’s official website (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Magee joined the Bucs last year after spending 2013 with the Browns. He appeared in nine games for Tampa last season and accrued seven tackles. He’ll next switch sports and try out for the Red Sox, per Pat Yasinkas of ESPN.com.
  • Tight end Ifeanyi Momah, who was in attendance at the recent veterans’ combine, has signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals, tweets Darren Urban of the team’s official website. The Cards will be Momah’s fourth organization since going undrafted out of Boston College in 2012. The 25-year-old has spent time with the Eagles, Browns and Lions, but has never appeared in a game.
  • The Packers have signed defensive back Kyle Sebetic, according to the team’s website. Sebetic went undrafted out of Dayton last year and spent some time on the Giants’ practice squad.

2015 NFL Compensatory Draft Picks

The NFL has officially announced the 32 compensatory draft picks for 2015 that have been handed out to teams who had the most significant losses in free agency a year ago. These picks, which can’t be traded, are determined by a formula that accounts for salary, playing time, and postseason honors. Teams can’t receive more than four picks each, and this year’s selections were divided up among 14 clubs.

Here’s the list of 2015 compensatory picks by team, with the round and overall selection number included:

  • 49ers: 4th (132), 7th (254)
  • Bears: None
  • Bengals: 3rd (99), 4th (135)
  • Bills: None
  • Broncos: 4th (133), 6th (208), 7th (250), 7th (251)
  • Browns: None
  • Buccaneers: None
  • Cardinals: 7th (256)
  • Chargers: None
  • Chiefs: 3rd (98), 5th (172), 5th (173), 6th (217)
  • Colts: 7th (255)
  • Cowboys: None
  • Dolphins: None
  • Eagles: None
  • Falcons: None
  • Giants: None
  • Jaguars: None
  • Jets: None
  • Lions: None
  • Packers: 6th (210), 6th (212)
  • Panthers: 5th (169), 6th (213)
  • Patriots: 3rd (97), 7th (253)
  • Raiders: None
  • Rams: 6th (215)
  • Ravens: 4th (136), 5th (171) , 5th (175)
  • Saints: None
  • Seahawks: 4th (134), 5th (170), 6th (209), 6th (214)
  • Steelers: 7th (252)
  • Texans: 5th (174), 6th (211), 6th (216)
  • Titans: None
  • Vikings: None
  • Washington: None

NFC Notes: Bennett, Lions, Rams, Jennings

Speaking to reporters in Arizona today, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said that defensive end Michael Bennett hasn’t requested a trade and is happy in Seattle, tweets Terry Blount of ESPN.com.

A report last week indicated that Bennett wanted a new contract, and perhaps a trade to Dan Quinn‘s Falcons, but even if that’s the case, it doesn’t look like the Seahawks have any plans to move him. For what it’s worth, Schneider appeared to dodge the issue of whether the defensive end wants his contract reworked, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.

Schneider also confirmed that defensive lineman Jesse Williams will be re-added to the Seahawks’ roster soon, indicating that Williams was only waived as a procedural transaction (Twitter link via Condotta).

Here’s more out of the NFC:

  • Lions GM Martin Mayhew confirmed today to reporters, including Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News (Twitter link), that his team is in talks with free agent guard Rob Sims about a new deal.
  • The Rams are keeping their eye on free agent offensive linemen like Joe Barksdale, Stefen Wisniewski, and Justin Blalock, but the club isn’t expected to sign any of those players this week, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • While the Cowboys aren’t likely to make any other noteworthy free agent investments, Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com suggests the club could go bargain shopping, identifying offensive tackle, safety, and return man as three potential areas of need.
  • Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took responsibility for the organization’s decision to not re-sign embattled defensive end Greg Hardy. “Whose call would you think that would be?” Richardson asked ESPN.com’s David Newton. When asked about the owner’s logic, Richardson replied that the Panthers “do the right things.”
  • When wideout Greg Jennings left the Packers for the Vikings in 2013, the veteran displayed some animosity towards the organization. However, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson made it clear that those kinds of comments wouldn’t dissuade his team from pursuing the 31-year-old. “We’re not that sensitive about things like that,” Thompson said (via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com). “Players are players. Players say things. Sometimes we make mistakes [too].”

NFC Links: McCourty, Bridgewater, Packers

Devin McCourty ultimately stayed with the Patriots, but not before being lured by the NFL’s largest market. The Giants‘ offer was comparable to what McCourty ended up signing to stay in New England — five years, $47.5MM — co-owner John Mara told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

The best safety on the market’s refusal to take the Giants’ money began a failed venture that leaves the team with one of the most barren depth charts at any position in the league with the draft less than six weeks away. As of now, the Giants have only Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor, fifth-round picks in 2013 and 2014, respectively, on their roster. Neither has started a game. Former Giants starters Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps still reside in free agency.

Other news from the NFC …

  • Like the Steelers, the Packers are a staunch build-from-within franchise, and this year furthered that philosophy. As a result, corners Tramon Williams and Davon House departed, and coach Mike McCarthy expects Casey Hayward and former Gonzaga basketball talent Demetri Goodson to challenge for those spots, reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Unless Carl Bradford or another player enables Clay Matthews to relocate to his former spot outside, the Pro Bowl linebacker may stay an inside linebacker going into the season.
  • Packers president Mark Murphy doesn’t expect the Bears’ proposal of both teams receiving a guaranteed overtime possession to pass, reports ESPN’s Jason Wilde. Murphy probably won’t support any of the rules changes, reports Silverstein on Twitter.
  • Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants Teddy Bridgewater to gain weight and develop additional strength before he begins his first full season as the Vikings’ quarterback, writes Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Zimmer said the 2014 first-rounder played at around 210 pounds last season, and the second-year coach prefers the 6-foot-2 signal-caller to be closer to 220.
  • After reports surfaced of Adrian Peterson‘s agent declining a Vikings meeting, the All-Pro runner didn’t solicit much of a response from Zimmer. “Well, Adrian is under contract with us, and we’re excited to get him back here with his teammates and get him back playing,” Zimmer told Hartman.
  • The NFL held its first Veterans Combine on Sunday night in Arizona with numerous former NFLers participating. The Eagles were among the few teams to talk with offensive linemen after their drills concluded, NFL.com’s Mark Sessler reports on Twitter.