Aaron Rodgers Extension Hurts Chances of Re-Signing B.J. Raji

By Kevin Van Pelt
Brace Hemmelgarn- USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have had an eventful offseason trying to sign an extension with their best offensive and defensive player. Clay Matthews got his extension about a month ago, signing through the year 2018 for a total of $69.73 million and $31 million guaranteed. Now the Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has gotten his extension that is rumored to be for five years and $110 million. With these two big signings, the Packers salary cap of $15 million should be all but evaporated making it hard to sign star defensive tackle B.J. Raji.

Raji, just like Matthews, was drafted in the 2009 draft and his contract will expire after the 2013 season. However, his performance has dropped the last two seasons, after having a phenomenal start to his career. With his declining performance, the Packers find themselves in a difficult situation. Raji has the potential to be one of the best defensive lineman in the league, but if he doesn’t perform better this season, the Packers might be more willing to let Raji walk away.

Another option the Packers might put on the table is asking Raji to take a discounted offer. If this is the case, expect Raji to test the market in free agency. Another team will likely be able to offer more money if the Packers aren’t due to the potential Raji has. A good defensive tackle in a 3-4 defense is hard to find and if he is available, teams will be willing to sign him.

While Rodgers and Matthews are worth being the highest-paid players at their position, their new contracts will not do the Packers any favors with their salary cap. If Raji doesn’t play like he did in 2010, expect the Packers let Raji become a free agent after next season.


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