Packers Rumors: Is B.J. Raji Going to Play in 2017?
It’s been almost exactly a year since former Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji announced a one year “hiatus” from football. The Packers could use some help along their defensive front, so should they turn to the former ninth overall pick to bolster the defensive line?
Probably not, says Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Gary D’Amato.
In a chat with readers on January 25, D’Amato throws some water on any hopes of a Raji return, pointing out that “he would face a huge challenge to regain his old form, especially since he'll turn 31 in July. I'd say the odds of a successful comeback are against him.”
Raji’s play with the Packers tailed off over his past few seasons, and on top of age concerns, Raji would have to decide whether he’s sufficiently motivated for a full season of football.
He wrote in his hiatus announcement last year that he felt he lacked “total commitment” to the 2016 season. Whether he’s regained his competitive fire is something only Raji can know, and if he’s feeling good about retirement so far, he should stay away. Being a young man with money is a great thing to be.
What’s more, if he does decide to come back, it’s no sure thing that it’d be with the Packers. Packers.com writer Mike Spofford points out that Raji left the game as a free agent, and as such, he’d be free to sign with any team if he decided to come back.