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Packers, Raji Agree To 5 Year Deal


Thirteen days into training camp, defensive end B.J. Raji has reportedly agreed to a five year deal with the Green Bay Packers.

According to multiple reports, the deal is worth $28.5 million dollars, including about $18 million guaranteed. Raji, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft, agreed to the deal after missing 14 practices while holding out for a contract.

The deal falls in between Oakland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh overall pick, and Denver running back Knowshon Moreno, the number 12 pick. Both players also signed five-year deals and are the closest picks to Raji who have already signed.

Raji's guaranteed money is about $5 million less than Heyward-Bey and about $5 million more than Moreno.

The agreement comes as welcoming news to the Packers, who are expected to start Raji at defensive end in 2009. Talks had previously stalled as both sides waited for San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree to sign. Crabtree, the number 10 overall pick, is seeking a deal that would pay him as though he'd been selected several picks earlier and has indicated he might hold out until he gets that deal.

Talks with Raji started last weekend and got serious on Thursday, before both sides reached an agreement, according to an NFL source.

The Packers play the Cleveland Browns in their first exhibition game Saturday. It's unlikely that Raji will play, so his first opportunity will come Monday, when the Packers practice at 2pm. The amount of work he gets will depend on his conditioning.

Raji hasn't participated in any practices since the June mini-camps and the Packers are sure to be cautious with their first-round pick so he doesn't get injured.

The Packers kick off the 2009 season on Sunday Night Football against the Chicago Bears on September 13.


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