The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported today that talks between B.J. Raji and the Green Bay Packers are not progressing substantially and that the two sides may not come to an agreement on the one-year contract offer that the Packers reportedly offered Raji.
Yesterday, Bob McGinn reported that the Packers put one- and two-year deals on the table worth around $4 million per year, but he and Tom Silverstein have reported today that there is no reason to expect Raji to sign it immediately and call into question whether he will sign it at all:
Sources told the Journal Sentinel the deal is not imminent and there are indications Raji isn't interested in the Packers' offer.
With the NFL's "legal tampering" period beginning on Saturday, it makes sense for Raji to hold off on signing anything until he and his agent can actually talk to other teams about the kinds of contracts they would be willing to offer him. Whether or not those deals would be more appealing than the Packers' offer remains to be seen, and it is entirely possible that the results may not be fruitful for Raji. If that were the case, Raji could still sign the Packers' offer before the opening of free agency on Tuesday with no harm done.
Raji's agent, David Dunn, certainly did his homework regarding the free agent market for Raji, but teams' priorities can change quickly, and it is not unreasonable for he and Raji to take some additional time to try to drum up more interest in the defensive tackle.
We do have further confirmation of one of the bargaining chips that the Packers intend to use, though:
One of the selling points the Packers are using to get Raji to accept their offer is a return to a true nose tackle position, one source said.
This confirms a similar report by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport yesterday.
One thing appears sure in this entire situation: reports of Raji and the Packers being "close" to a deal seem to have been premature.