March 14, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Packers DT B.J. Raji stepping away from NFL
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji announced he won't play next season and possibly ever again. Raji has played seven seasons for the Packers. Raji had been offered a new contract. Raji missed the 2014 season with an injury. "I am taking a hiatus from the NFL and will not play during the 2016 NFL season," Raji said. "This decision was made after hours of conversation with close family members and mentors and considerable self-introspection and is one in which I am absolutely certain. I cannot rule out a return to the NFL in the future, but I will definitely not be playing during the 2016 season. Coach Lombardi once said that “unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it – his mind, his body, his heart – what’s life worth to him?” That is the approach I have taken with football since I was a 2-star high school recruit. That total commitment was the foundation of my success at Boston College, helped me become a top ten pick in the NFL and helped me both make a Pro Bowl and win a Super Bowl. "However, when my agents Brian Murphy and Camron Hahn informed me that they had a new deal with the Packers, I knew that I would not be able to live up to Coach Lombardi’s “total commitment” standard and made this decision out of respect to this great organization. I have played football and been defined as a football player for as long as I can remember. This off-season was the first time that I felt myself pulled in another direction and I am excited to first be “all in” with my family back home and then to explore new frontiers. I am not exactly sure what the next phase of life will entail, but I am confident that all of the lessons I learned during my NFL journey will provide a solid foundation for success." Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.