B.J. Raji

The Green Bay Packers signed quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews to big-money extensions during the offseason. We figured defensive tackle B.J. Raji would be next… but he wasn’t.

Safety Morgan Burnett was.

Well, it turns out the Packers have made Raji a long-term offer, according to Bob McGinn. That offer is worth $8 million per year, but Raji has turned it down. And he’s turned it down multiple times.

Raji’s current contract, which is in it’s final year, averages $5.2 million per season.

So what’s the problem?

Well, for one, Raji has been playing out of his ass at times this season. Mind you, not all the time — at times he totally fucking disappears, like he did for most of last season. But at times, he’s dominant.

Unfortunately for him, he’s not an every-down player anymore. Sure, he does his job, takes up blockers and often gets off them to stop the run and make big plays.

What he doesn’t do anymore, is rush the passer. That’s mostly because he isn’t even in the game on passing downs.

At the moment, Mike Daniels and Datone Jones are rushing from the inside on passing downs.

Raji is on the sideline.

So the question for the Packers is, is a guy who’s dominant once in a while worth $8 million a season? And the question for Raji is, what is he going to get on the open market if he hits free agency?

Let’s deal with the latter first.

Surely, some bottom-of-the-barrel team like the Cleveland Browns — see, Hunt, Cletidus — or the Minnesota Vikings — see, ex-Packers, everyone — will pay Raji some asinine amount of money. Like, maybe $10-12 million per year, if desperate.

Is he worth that? Well, if the open market says he is, then yes. But he’ll also be playing for a club that will never win jack shit. And he’ll probably be playing with jack shit players, so he’ll be the focus of constant criticism because of his overblown contract.

“Hey, you fat fuck! Why aren’t you making plays!?”

To the first question, is he worth that to the Packers? No.

Granted, nose tackle is one of the toughest positions to fill in the 3-4, but we know the Packers aren’t going to, 1. overpay because other teams are willing to, and 2. give a guy more than they think he’s worth.

Look, the Packers made Rodgers the $120 million man last offseason. He didn’t give a shit. He took that money. They made Matthews the $70 million man — and he only plays 12 games a season, at most. He didn’t give a shit. He took that money.

The Packers didn’t give a shit. They GAVE that money.

Anyway, the point is, they can’t give Raji some overblown contract like that. And you know he’s not worth anything that big anyway.

We knew the Packers had a plan for their numerous free agents of 2014 — Raji, James Jones, Sam Shields, Ryan Pickett, Jermichael Finley, etc.

Or at least we thought they did.

Apparently, that was to sign Raji (and Shields, we believe) during the season.

If Raji won’t take what is probably a generous offer — especially for a part-time player — during the season, there are two ways this can play out.

Some asshole team overpays Raji and he leaves or he tests the market, finds out he isn’t as in demand as he thought he was and comes crawling back to the Packers for the less money.

The interesting thing about McGinn’s story is he talks to several scouts and no one has anything glowing to say about Raji. In fact, out of three guys, no one says he’s worth the $8 million a year he’s being offered now.

Here’s a telling comment.

“No, I don’t see him as that ($8 million player),” said the scout, who has done breakdowns on Raji for the last five years. “I would have thought that early in his career. Those guys should get better. For a contract year I don’t see him being a difference-maker.

“I remember looking at him in the Senior Bowl from years back. He dominated college blockers in drills. I thought he was a great get for the Packers.

“You have to keep in mind the 3-4 is a concept where you’re trying to free up athletes in the linebacking corps to make plays so there’s a lot of unselfish play that takes place. But I thought he would be a dominant guy.

“In fairness to him, he does collapse the pocket a lot. His man’s butt is leaning on the quarterback’s knees a lot. And if you try to run at him and he doesn’t want you to, he’s going to win against most guys.

“Pickett is probably a better pure run stopper but Raji is more of a complete player. I just don’t see him making plays. Daniels makes more plays than Raji even comes close to making.”

Right?

One of the other guys asked who Raji’s agent was and what the fuck he was thinking.

I’ll tell you what he’s thinking. He’s overvaluing his client because HE wants to get paid. Raji was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Is he a perennial All Pro?

No.

He’s a zero-time All Pro. He’s made one fucking Pro Bowl and he probably didn’t even deserve to go to that game because he had a far superior season the year before. And that season wasn’t Pro Bowl-worthy either.

So the final question here is, how will the Packers replace Raji?

Easy.

They re-sign Pickett at a bargain-basement rate — we KNOW that guy doesn’t want to go anywhere. He moves back to nose, which is his natural position. And if the Vikings are any example (and they’re really not, but…), 87-year-old guys can still play nose tackle at a high level — see Williams, Kevin.

Datone Jones, Johnny Jolly, Mike Daniels, C.J. Wilson. I think those four guys can man the other two spots on the defensive line without B.J. Raji.

So, here’s some free advice, fat man. Fire your fucking agent and take the money. I’d be happy to collect 10 percent on that $8 million a year. Feel free to call me.

Or, go play for the Vikings and fuck off.

 

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