The forgotten five: Guys who can help the Green Bay Packers reach Super Bowl 50
Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end B.J. Raji (90) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
1. B.J. Raji (DT)
Whether B.J. Raji returns to Green Bay in 2015 is still an uncertainty. Raji is a restricted free agent, and missed the entire 2014 season with a torn tricep. Letroy Guion stepped into the lineup in his place and had a solid season.
The battle between Raji and Guion could well have taken a strong swing in Raji’s favor, after Guion was arrested for possession of marijuana and a firearm this week, and it is now questionable whether he will be re-signed.
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Green Bay’s run defense struggled at times in the 2014 season. While inside linebacker certainly needs to be addressed, you really can never have enough big guys up front. And big guys is something the Packers haven’t had enough of.
Raji looked revitalized as he moved back to nose tackle in training camp last year before tearing his tricep. Should he return to the Packers, it can be expected he won’t be able to command a huge contract.
Ted Thompson may feel Raji needs a short-term contract to prove he can still be an important asset to the Green Bay defense, much like the one-year deal he received last year.
Raji could very well be the player the Packers lacked at times in 2014. If he can replicate the performances he has shown previously in a Packers uniform, he can greatly help the run defense, which is so important when you play teams like the Seahawks and Cowboys in the playoffs.
With help at inside linebacker and with Raji returning at defensive tackle, they could significantly improve the inside of the defense in the same way we saw the secondary make huge strides in 2014.
With that said, B.J. Raji could well be a missing piece that helps the Green Bay Packers go all the way to Santa Clara next February.