The Green Bay Packers are reportedly ready to shed about 700 pounds. Those pounds will come in the form of defensive linemen B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, according to Ian Rapoport.
#Packers are letting BJ Raji & Ryan Pickett walk. So, if McCarthy says they are not getting smaller, who will they find bigger than those 2?
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 21, 2014
Raji and his fat, underachieving ass looks awfully stupid for turning down that $8 million per year extension the Packers offered during the season, doesn’t he?
Anyway, not much of a surprise here.
Raji hasn’t played well in recent seasons. He hasn’t had a sack since 2011 and he registered a whopping 19 tackles in 2013. And the Packers at one time thought this guy was worth $8 million per season? You have to wonder if Ted Thompson was watching the same games the rest of us were.
Pickett, meanwhile, is nearing the end of the line. He’s 34 and didn’t make a much bigger impact than Raji did in 2013, finishing with 26 tackles. That’s his lowest total since his rookie season.
The real question is now what?
First, we’re going to note this. It hasn’t been reported that the Packers are ready to let their other starting defensive lineman, Johnny Jolly, walk in free agency. We’re going to bet he’ll be back in 2014.
Second, coach Mike McCarthy has said the Packers want to get more athletic on the defensive line.
We know they’re going to give last year’s first-round pick Datone Jones every chance to be a starter. Mike Daniels, who led the line with 6.5 sacks in 2013, fits the athletic mold and will also see his playing time increase.
If Jolly is re-signed, he’ll join Jones, Daniels, Jerel Worthy and Josh Boyd in the D line group. The Packers will need to add at least two if not three guys to that group.
You can expect a draft pick or two will be used on defensive lineman. The Packers may even have to sign a free agent.