B.J. Raji returning to Packers

Updated: March 14, 2014, 8:23 PM ET
By Rob Demovsky | ESPN.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Unable to find anything better on the free-agent market, defensive tackle B.J. Raji has agreed to a one-year deal with the Green Bay Packers, a source familiar with the negotiations confirmed to ESPN.

Raji is expected to make $4 million, but that figure could increase based on incentives, the source said.

The team announced Friday afternoon that the deal for Raji to return to the Packers has been completed.

Raji has had that offer on the table for more than a week but waited to see if there were any other suitors on the open market.

The 2009 first-round pick reportedly turned down an $8 million-per-year offer from the Packers last year. Although he led all Packers defensive linemen in playing time last season, seeing the field for 59 percent of the defensive snaps, he failed to record a single sack for the second straight season.

[+] EnlargeB.J. Raji
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesB.J. Raji will remain a Packer on a $4 million deal after reportedly turning down an $8 million-per-year offer from the team last year.

Some of that was due to the fact that defensive tackles in defensive coordinator Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme are responsible mainly for eating up blockers rather than jetting upfield to make plays in the backfield, but Raji was an effective pass-rusher earlier in his career while playing in the same system.

His best season came in 2010, when he had 6.5 sacks and also made a key play in the NFC Championship Game against the Bears, intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown.

The ninth overall pick in the '09 draft, Raji had his best years while playing nose tackle, but the last three years he has played more at defensive end in the base defense. Indications are the Packers plan to return him to the nose tackle spot this season.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter



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