Even though the Packers only officially made one move, today was a big day. The B.J. Raji question was answered; Raji signed a one year four million dollar deal today. It was also announced that Raji will play nose tackle, which is where he wanted to play all along and has had the most success, so the Packers got a steal on this one – Raji isn’t much of an end but is an outstanding nose tackle. I suspect this contract will likely be the gateway to a much longer and much more expensive deal.
The Packers lost another 2013 starter to free agency today when Evan Dietrich-Smith signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This loss could be a good thing, however, as it probably better serves the Packers to not overpay an average and soon to be 28-year-old center. This is one of the few positions at which the Packers have great in house options such as JC Tretter who has tremendous upside and the Packers expect to contribute as an interior lineman. This could also lead to more playing time for Don Barclay. Barclay exceeded expectations last year at tackle but may best be suited as a guard. If the Packers leave David Bakhtiari at left tackle, as they should given how well he played, and put Bulaga back at right tackle where he is more comfortable then they can move TJ Lang to center, a position at which he has experience and is comfortable, thus making the guard combination Josh Sitton and Don Barclay – that would be a mean front five.
Only time will tell what the Packers plan to do, but today was a step in the right direction