Green Bay Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji. File/Getty Images
The Green Bay Packers and B.J. Raji reportedly are exploring a one-year deal that will give the defensive lineman another shot at making good on a contract season.
ESPNís Adam Schefter first reported Thursday morning the two sides were discussing a prove-it deal that would allow Raji another chance at testing free agency next year following his quiet 2013 season.
While there appears to be interest from both Raji and the Packers, the NFL Networkís Ian Rapoport reported that Raji is weighing his options and might decide to test free agency in search of a more lucrative and longer-term deal. With that would come the risk that the Packers would lower their offer if he doesnít find a deal he likes on the market.
NFL clubs can start negotiating with other teamsí free agents at 11 a.m. Saturday but cannot sign them until 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The Packersí one-year offer is an indication of how much Rajiís value has dropped since last year, when he turned down a long-term deal with the Packers that would have averaged $8 million a year. Rajiís 2013 was the worst statistical season of his five-year NFL career ó he had a career-low 17 tackles in 16 games. He also didnít have a sack for the second consecutive season.
The Packers withdrew their $8-million-a-year offer last season, and any new agreement likely will be substantially lower than that figure but would allow him to return to the market next offseason.
At the NFL scouting combine, coach Mike McCarthy suggested that the Packers also might entice Raji with the promise heíll move back to nose tackle, the position he played during his best season, 2010. Heís played primarily defensive end the last three years in the Packersí 3-4 base scheme, though the large majority of their defensive snaps are in their nickel defensive personnel, which doesnít have a nose tackle.
Raji will turn 28 in July.
The Packers have $33.1 million in salary-cap room, according to USA TODAY. The team has 16 other unrestricted free agents.
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