It was reported on Thursday that the Green Bay Packers and defensive lineman B.J. Raji are nearing a deal on a one-year contract that would pay him $4 million.
Such a deal would essentially be a "prove it" contract, which essentially gives Raji a year to play better than his disappointing 2013 season in hopes of raising his value and hitting it big in free agency next year. Likewise, it also gives the Packers another year to figure out how to replace Raji if he doesn't pan out.
No deal has been finalized, however, and there's no guarantee it will, but there's one thing that's for sure: Friday March 7 is the final day for exclusive negotiating rights in the NFL.
Raji and the rest of the Packers' unrestricted free agent class of 17 players can talk only to the Packers until March 8, when a three-day window opens in which they can negotiate with other teams.
Starting March 11, players can start signing with other NFL teams.
If the Packers and Raji don't agree on a deal by Friday, there's a good chance the defensive lineman will at least gauge the interest he receives on the open market before coming back to the Packers if their offer is still on the table.
Raji has to judge the pros and cons of accepting a one-year deal versus going out and trying to sign a multi-year contract that might offer more security but less money than he could make in another year's time.
According to various reports, the Packers have been negotiating to various degrees with fullback John Kuhn and tight end Andrew Quarless, who will also become unrestricted free agents next week.
Also on Friday, the pro day circuit continues and Packers scouts will be in attendance checking out the upcoming rookie class of future pro players.
Among the schools holding pro timing days are Ohio State, Arizona State, Northern Illinois, Arkansas State, Southern Miss, South Alabama, Pittsburg State (Kansas) and Wofford.
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