With the offseason drama surrounding free agent defensive tackle Letroy Guion and his legal issues in Florida, B.J. Raji was a bit of a forgotten man in the Packers news cycle. Of course, this is partially because he missed the entire 2014 season with a torn biceps muscle that he suffered in the third preseason game.
Now, Guion has reportedly agreed to terms with the Packers on a new one-year contract, while Raji remains unsigned. The deal is worth $2.75 million, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. Despite bringing Guion back into the fold, however, it appears that Ted Thompson and company are still working to try to bring Raji back as well. ESPN's Rob Demovsky reports:
The Packers have offered Raji a one-year contract worth less than $2 million, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
That number would probably be around half of what Raji earned in 2014. Last season, his contract paid him $3.7 million with a $500,000 signing bonus. The total contract value was $4 million, but included $300,000 in per-game roster bonuses, which Raji did not earn because he spent the entirety of the season on injured reserve.
As for Raji's rehab from his injury, there appear to have been no setbacks. Earlier this month, his personal trainer indicated hat Raji's strength had fully returned and that he will be better than ever in 2015. Furthermore, Raji has expressed his own desire to return to Green Bay. He also spent time guiding younger players and sitting in on defensive meetings throughout the 2014 season, despite being on IR.
Reports of other teams' interest in Raji have been minimal, so determining his market value is currently next to impossible. However, it's possible that the Packers could indeed end up bringing back both the nose tackle who helped keep the defense afloat in 2014 as well as the one who showed signs in training camp of returning to his Pro Bowl-caliber play.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network followed up this report later on Monday morning with one of his own, which paints an even more positive picture of the scenario:
#Packers are expected to bring back free agent DT BJ Raji on a one-year deal, source said. He missed last year after surgery on his bicep— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 30, 2015
Of course, this does not imply that a deal has been agreed upon, but rather the perception of that source. Stay tuned.