Longtime Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji surprisingly elected to take last season off from football, and it appears he’ll do the same in 2017. The 30-year-old is helping to take care of his mother and aunt, both of whom have dealt with illnesses, and “hasn’t really thought about football,” agent Brian Murphy told Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
Members of the Packers organization have kept in touch with Raji, per head coach Mike McCarthy, and Murphy added that the club would “like to have him back.” Before Raji stepped away from the game last March, he turned down a lucrative offer from the Packers as a free agent and also rebuffed interest from other teams. Raji has made $26MM during his NFL career, notes Demovsky.
A careerlong Packer, Raji went to the club ninth overall in the 2009 draft and appeared in 91 regular-season games (78 starts) before leaving the game. The ex-Boston College standout helped the Packers win a Super Bowl to cap off the 2010 season, during which he recorded a personal-high 6.5 sacks. He then earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2011.
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