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Raji Signs

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Raji Signs

Obviously, this is great news.

The frustration, of course, lies in wondering what exactly took so long? Did Dunn's stunt of pulling Raji out of Green Bay really work? I can't believe that. Then what? What happened to get things moving? Of course, we'll never know.

Those of you who saw last nights show heard Matt Bowen say that it would be highly unlikely now for Raji to start on opening night given all the time he's missed. But as he also pointed out, Raji plays in a position group, the defensive line, that operates best in heavy rotation.

Here's hoping Raji has kept himself in shape and can get enough work done between now and opening night to play more than a handful of meaningful snaps against the Bears.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

bomdad's picture

Thanks for turning up the Ball Heat.

Boothie's picture

Super News! I hope that Pkrs didn't overpay.

Shootz's picture

Did Russ' mere mention on the site give him a Cheesehead Nation Bump? Aaron, be careful with the power you wield.

packeraaron's picture

Shootz - after a very long and stressful day, that really made me laugh. Thanks :)

Oppy's picture

Maybe Russ Ball, Ted Thompson,Mark Murphy and the Packers at large don't spend every midnight handling venomous snakes while dancing naked around burning virgins, and drinking blood while plotting to destroy the Green and Gold. Perhaps they actually ARE competently running a football team instead?

Bah, crazy talk. Clearly, this "Raji Signing" of which you speak is a mere illusion to cloud our eyes from the truth.

Men, man the pitchforks. I will soak the swaddling in turpentine for the torches! We ride at dawn.

Oppy's picture

On second thought, scratch that. It's late and there's no way i'm getting up at dawn.

Thus, I've changed my stance to:

Hip Hip Hooray! Let's get the boy onto the practice pitch and get him ready to dominate for the '09 season.

Go Pack!

Stanislaw's picture

Been meaning to chime in regarding your post about Ball. From my take of how things work for the GBP's, it would be ludicrous to believe he could operate in such a vacuum as to make decisions you are blaming him for.

Do you really think he would just go ahead and give any player of consideration a contract without TT or MM's approval? You think he would give Jennings or Rodgers millions without passing it by mgmt?

In an earlier post, I saw someone rip Brandt for the Joe Johnson signing - you think Brandt just said, 'hmmm Joe Johnson, I think we should have him on the team - I'm going to give him a $4mm signing bonus?' Without clearing it with Sherman or Harlan?

It probably works this way - GM says, let's get that player - contract negotiator (CN) research salaries, gives GM ranges, GM circles area where he feels there is optimal value and CN works off of that.

Of course I don't know for sure but I would have to imagine the CN's have absolutely no autonomy to offer anything over a set value without management's approval.

So nice try (really) but there's nothing really to rip.

D.D. Driver's picture

Stan: Right on. I think you are correct. Are we suppose do believe that under Sherman, Brandt preferred huge roster bonuses which when amortized made players "uncutable" and drove the Packers into salary cap hell, but then when Thompson took over Brandt magically and over night changed his philosophy and suddenly preferred large first year salaries along with unamortized roster bonuses to give the team flexibility?
It seems pretty damn obvious to me that the negotiator may iron out all the details, but the GM is calling the shots. The notion that Ball wakes up one morning and says "hey I think I should lowball Ryan Grant, today" seems preposterous.

packeraaron's picture

Actually, by all accounts DDD, the 'low ball' offer was all Ball. I'll try to find the article. As for the rest, where did I ever say Thompson wan't involved? I simply made note of the differences in holdouts and the length of a contract.
I actually thought I was pretty tepid in my post, even saying THERE'S A TON I DON'T KNOW about. Yet everyone seems to take it as I am making a declaration. It's frustrating, to say the least...

Nick's picture

Of course Thompson makes the call on who he wants to sign, but theoretically the negotiator would decide the approach to get that done. Low balling Grant could certainly be put on Ball, not Thompson. Obviously we'll never know for sure, but that's something he is able to do if he felt it was the best strategy.

D.D. Driver's picture

Where did I say that you said that "Thompson wasn't involved?"
The question isn't whether its "how much"? I think you are giving the negotiator too much credit (Brandt) and blame (Ball).
How else do you explain that Brandt did a pretty damn crappy job under Sherman and an excellent job under Thompson?
And I would be interested in the article that disclosed that it was Ball's decision to "low ball" Grant. We'll set aside for the moment that the Packers never really did "low ball" Grant. They just overpaid him in the end.
It was identical to the Bubba Franks deal a few years back (which was negotiated by Brandt). Franks was offended and "hurt" that the Packers "low balled" him. Except, they really didn't low ball Franks at all, they just ultimately overpaid him, and then had to cut him loose two seasons later.

Ron La Canne's picture

Glad this is almost over. Heard this morning that details still need to be worked out, Nothing big.

Now the team is in place so let's get ready to play. It doesn't mater if Raji's not ready to start yet. Just get him as much playing time as possible in the pre-season. Jolly has an ankle, Harrell is suffering back spasams and we will need him for the Bears.

I firmly believe a more coordinated effort in negotiating could have got him in sooner. The only way to keep agents, filthy scum that they are, from gamesmanship is to make them realize they are dealing with the highest authority. The "negoitiator" is often a pawn in the agents plan. In NFL negotiations only three things count, total compensation, up front/guarenteed money and time. All of this falls into the owners area of responsibility for most NFL teams and the GM for GB.

I also believe that TT absolutely hates confrontation. He is too willing to deligate that responsibility (See Favre - MM had to do most of the talking). If he gets involved earlier maybe, just maybe, things could move along a little facter.

I sure was hoping to see Raji against Joe Thomas tomorrow. We could have had a much better feel for his potential.

Ron La Canne's picture


retiredgrampa's picture

Forgive my ignorance, but from what I've heard of the terms they seem reasonable to me. As long as Raji is satisfied and the Packers didn't give him the farm, we should all be happy. This is the day we've all been hoping for. Why ruin it by harping about the terms. 31 other teams would have paid it gladly.

JoeBuck's picture

Raji will be ready to start opening night. I don't care what Bowen says. Trgovac will make it his mission to get Raji ready.

Ron La Canne's picture

If the terms are reasonable now, what where they during the hold out? I'm not sure that says anything positive about the Packer negotiating plan.

Oppy's picture

"If the terms are reasonable now, what where they during the hold out? I’m not sure that says anything positive about the Packer negotiating plan"

Ron, why couldn't your statement be changed to:

"...I’m not sure that says anything positive about the **DAVID DUNN/BJ RAJI** negotiating plan"?

Clay Matthews as well as the rest of the 2009 draft class seemed to have no problems with the negotiation style of Ball under TT. Doesn't that make it likely the issues that led to stalling was either two-headed or lying more on the agent's side of things?

Interestingly, Andrew Brandt seemed to have thought as much, per an article he posted a few days ago.

PackerBelle's picture

With Raji you had Crabtree being a crazy person and the exhorbitant contract of the Raider's first pick distorting the market. Of course there were going to be issues signing Raji.

As for Grant last year, technically the Packers had all of the cards. But the Favre situation disrupted things. With the circus that was the Favre drama, they didn't need a holdout of their top running back. So they overpaid but it wasn't a normal situation.

Ron La Canne's picture

Sure Oppy, just pointing to an obvious cantradiction. As I said earlier in this thread, all agents are mutant scum. Mathews at the bottom of the first, and a surprise pick at that position probably didn't want any delays figuring his position was tentative if he pushed the issue. Just look at the Oakland/Crabtree debacle for the answer. GB signed Stryker Sulak yesterday. He was a guy Oakland drafted with a whole lot of pre-draft noise, only to cut him bfore training got fully underway.

packeraaron's picture

DDD - of course Brandt was better w/Thompson than with Sherman. That wasn't even close to the point. The point was - was Thompson better w/Brandt than w/Ball? Like I said, I don't know. I just don't have a great feeling about it. (I know - god forbid I talk about a hunch...)

D.D. Driver's picture

Given that Ball has been on the job a whole 18 months, I thinks impossible to know anything.
And my point is the important decisions are almost certainly made by Thompson and not Brandt and not Ball.
People need to let go of the Grant negotiation. As I said above, the Grant negotiation was almost *identical* to how the Bubba Franks deal went down. Franks was under Thompson/Brandt. Grant was under Thompson/Ball.

Oppy's picture

To be honest, I think Andrew Brandt was a great contract negotiator. Do I think Russ Ball is a better negotiator? No, I don't. Part of that is just because I don't know alot about Ball compared to Brandt, and part of it is based completely on the (irrelevant) fact that I LIKE Brandt.

That all said, it doesn't mean Russ Ball is a poor contract negotiator. It doesn't mean he's incompetent. Heck, it doesn't even really mean he's any worse that Andrew Brandt. It just means he's different and a relatively unknown commodity to me.

But to say the Grant situation and a top ten holdout situation makes Ball a poor negotiator seems extremely reactionary. These are situations that all contract negotiators go through at some point. These types of things happen every year, all over the NFL.

It seems like us Packers fans freak out and think the sky is falling over situations that are regularly occurring events in professional football. They certainly aren't situations you want to occur, but in the big picture, it's part of the gig. They aren't necessarily indicators of wrong doing or poor performance, just part of running an NFL franchise.

We are a very neurotic bunch, we Packers fans.

Ruppert's picture

Okay, then. Since we're all done with him, I'm going to go pull Ball down off the cross now.

WoodyG's picture

" We are a very neurotic bunch, we Packers fans. "
You are being too kind by only saying 'neurotic'.
Impatient, reactionary, imaginative, impulsive, over-zealous, theory-driven - to name only a few more.
The difficulty in just sitting back & enjoying the NFL & Pack football stems from the advent of 'fantasy football' & Madden football. ......... IMO, alot of fans have somehow mixed the two & are now in an abyss where they have trouble distinguishing between reality & make-believe.... Think about it.

Ron La Canne's picture

"The difficulty in just sitting back & enjoying the NFL & Pack football stems from the advent of ‘fantasy football’ & Madden football. ……… IMO, alot of fans have somehow mixed the two & are now in an abyss where they have trouble distinguishing between reality & make-believe…. Think about it."

Wrong Woody, I've been this way since the first time I saw Tobin Rote and Jug Gerard play. My idea of a high tech football game then was a vibrating metal board with little aluminum guys moving around hoping that one of them would touch the guy with the felt ball stuck in his arm pit. The greatest challange was to see if you could use the spring loaded QB's arm and hit one of your owm players. In short, I think you're born with an obession that expects nothing less than perfection from the team we love.

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