by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/7/14) The Packers have offered defensive lineman B.J. Raji a short-term contract extension in advance of free agency, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Now they have to see if he accepts it.
The Packers offered Raji the options of one- and two-year contracts. For one year, their offer was for about $4 million. ESPN reported Thursday that Raji was close to a one-year deal, but the Journal-Sentinel report says the deal is not imminent and there are indications Raji isn't interested.
Raji would only want to sign a one-year deal if he thought the long-term offers he received weren't lucrative enough and there was still time left to shop himself when the NFL free agency signing period begins Tuesday.
The Journal Sentinel reported during the 2013 season that Raji turned down a long-term offer averaging $8 million. That offer contained about $20 million in guaranteed money. Raji chose to play out the season and see if he could do better as a free agent.
Clay Matthews: Thumb injury won't linger
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/25/14) Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who broke his right thumb twice in 2013, said the injury won't hamper him in 2014.
“It’s been doing well," Matthews said in a radio interview, per ESPN.com. "I’ve been getting physical therapy three times a week. I’ve been able to work out with a few limitations, but from talking with the doctors there shouldn’t be any limitations once next season rolls around.
"It’s just been a pain because obviously you look at it, it’s just a broken thumb. But it’s such an aggravating injury for a pass-rusher, especially in the manner in which I did it twice and having to have it surgically repaired twice, it doesn’t make it for an easy offseason in recovery.”
Matthews was held to 7.5 sacks in 11 games last season.
Packers want more impact plays from Morgan Burnett
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/24/14) Packers safety Morgan Burnett signed a four-year, $24.75 million contract last July, then went the whole season without an interception. He also failed to break up a 28-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis in the playoff loss to the 49ers.
According to ESPN.com, Burnett "broke on the ball but looked like he was trying to swat a fly rather than making an aggressive move toward the ball." Said coach Mike McCarthy: “I mean, playmaking, you go get the football.”
Still, McCarthy said Burnett is nowhere near a bust. Burnett, who had 96 tackles and three fumble recoveries in the regular season, would benefit from better play at the other safety position, the coach added.
Ryan Pickett wants to play one or two more years
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/5/14) Free agent nose tackle Ryan Pickett, 34, wants to play another year or two and could return to the Packers at the team's price, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Pickett played in every game last season, making 21 tackles and batting down two passes.
Safety is Green Bay's weakest link
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/5/14) Packers starting safeties Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings combined for zero interceptions last season, the first time that's happened in Green Bay since at least the 1950s, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Every other NFL team got an interception from a safety on its roster.
"We just didn't get it done and I don't think that was a lack of ability, because the ability is there," safeties coach Darren Perry told the paper. "We just have to make sure we're consistent."
Burnett led the team with three fumble recoveries, but also paced the Packers with 17 missed tackles. Coach Mike McCarthy said immediately after the season that he wants more "impact players" on defense.
Green Bay could give a longer look to Sean Richardson or Micah Hyde, or address the safety position through free agency and the draft.