Friday, August 14, 2009

Raji has returned to the building...

After 13 days of missed training camp and, perhaps more importantly, finally leaving Green Bay for about two days, it appears the deal between Packers' first round pick B. J. Raji and the team is imminent.

According to a report in today's edition of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by sportswriters Tom Silverstein and Greg A. Bedard, the deal is for five years and $28.5 million, with nearly $18 million of that guaranteed. (Can you say, "It's good to be a high first round pick!"?)

The deal is not done yet, but it seems as if some fine tuning on parts of the contract will have Raji in a position today to sign.

As noted in a post here yesterday, Raji had left Green Bay just a few days ago. It appeared as if that move would be a prelude to a long hold out. But whether that departure by Raji jump started things or the Packers decided it was time to get the #9 overall pick in camp, something happened to accelerate the process. Perhaps the injury status of other D-linemen, Justin Harrell and Johnny Jolly, got the Pack motivated to get Raji in.

While he obviously will not play in tomorrow night's game versus Cleveland, he will have 3 preseason games to get ready for the season. But he'll have some work to do to get ready for the preseason games, too. Things like practice in pads, for example. He's missed a lot of snaps. So expect the Packers to try to accelerate his prep. They want him to start at left end and back up Ryan Picket at nose tackle in the 3-4. When the scheme moves to a 4-3, they want Raji in the middle as well.

Glad the deal is getting done and Raji will be back in Green Bay and finally on the practice field.

You can read more details here.