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Packers, Raji near one-year, $4 million deal; Shields to try free agency

The Sports Xchange

Defensive lineman B.J. Raji could sign a one-year contract to remain with the Green Bay Packers, turning down the chance to make his first foray into free agency next week.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel first reported the value of the contract.

Raji, the ninth overall pick in 2009, wants to improve his stock in 2014 and return to the negotiating table with the chance to be a free agent after next season.

Raji, 28, turned down a long-term extension that was worth between $7 million and $8 million per season with up to $20 million guaranteed.

Whether he is able to recoup the many millions he passed on could depend on his health. The 330-pounder has played 30 games the past two seasons but was limited by minor leg and ankle injuries for parts of each year.

Shields to try free agency

Packers cornerback Sam Shields will test free agency after he and the team were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract, ESPN reported Saturday.

The Packers wanted to re-sign Shields, but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the 26-year-old will try the open market after negotiations failed to result in a new deal. reported earlier in the week that talks were "ongoing."

Shields played under a restricted free-agent tender of $2.023 million last season. He tied a career high with four interceptions in 14 games.

General manager Ted Thompson did not say at the NFL Scouting Combine last week if the team would use the franchise tag on Shields if a deal is not reached. The deadline to tag players is Monday. The franchise designation for cornerback is expected to be about $11 million.