Is B.J. Raji next in line for a big pay day from the Green Bay Packers?
The club’s biggest moves this offseason were writing contract extensions for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews, making them the NFL’s highest-paid players at their respective positions.
Logic would indicate that Raji, the standout defensive tackle, could be next. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract at 26 and knows a big season could help him accomplish his goals.
“I want to get back to the Pro Bowl,” Raji said, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think that I have that ability. And I want to help other guys get to the Pro Bowl who haven't been there. I want to obviously help us get back to being a top-five defense. And I just want to dominate the game, from Week 1 to whenever we're done playing and just have an impact in every football game.”
Raji is putting a focus on getting off blocks better this season. It’s something he’s making a concerted effort on at this point even when contact in practices is not permitted. It will be a focus in camp and the season. If he is successful, it will lead to him disengaging more blockers and wrapping up more ball carriers and maybe a few more quarterbacks.
That, of course, could lead to a big pay day.
“I'm confident everything will take care of itself,” he said.
He’s got reason to believe. The Packers have consistently done a good job of taking care of their own. We’ll see how this season shakes out for Raji.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune