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Packers DL B.J. Raji Taking Hiatus During 2016 NFL Season

NFL

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji announced in a statement he is stepping away from football and that he will not play for at least the 2016 NFL season. Raji released a statement Monday, referring to his decision as “a hiatus” and saying that he “cannot rule out a return to the NFL in the future.”

Raji, who currently is a free agent, said in the statement that his agents recently told him that he had been offered a new contract with the Packers. Citing his lack of “total commitment,” Raji said he decided to step away “out of respect to this great organization.” Raji was entering a third consecutive year with no certain future with the Packers organization.

“I have played football and been defined as a football player for as long as I can remember,” B.J. Raji said in the statement. “This off-season was the first time that I felt myself pulled in another direction and I am excited to first be ‘all in’ with my family back home and then to explore new frontiers. I am not exactly sure what the next phase of life will entail, but I am confident that all of the lessons I learned during my NFL journey will provide a solid foundation for success.”

Raji played in all but one game last season and ended a 35-game regular-season streak without a sack in Week 1. A groin injury slowed him down for most of the 2015 season and was a non-factor at times.

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