Report: Packers’ B.J. Raji planning to retire

By Jesse Reed
Nov 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end B.J. Raji (90) against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 30-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji is planning to retire from football, according to Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Apparently Raji could have earned a pretty penny if not for this decision.

One would have to assume health is the overriding issue with Raji, who was injured at the end of last year. Reading between the lines, he likely views long-term health as a more beneficial outcome than a few extra million right now.

Raji was drafted No. 9 overall in 2009 and started 78 games for the Packers in six seasons. He was forced to sit out the entire 2014 season with an injury but came back and started 15 games last year.

Though he would have to be considered as somewhat of a bust, considering his draft status, Raji was a solid role player anchoring Green Bay’s 3-4 defense. His best season came in his second year in the league when he busted out with 6.5 sacks and 29 tackles, and he finishes his career with 11 sacks and 104 total tackles.

While this move is surprising, it comes at an opportune time for the Packers. The 2016 NFL Draft class is poor overall but loaded with excellent defensive linemen, so finding some talent and depth at the position will be possible for general manager Ted Thompson.