Raji signs $28.5 million deal

Updated: August 14, 2009, 5:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have signed first-round draft pick B.J. Raji, ending his nearly two-week training camp holdout.

General manager Ted Thompson did not disclose terms Friday.

ESPN.com's John Clayton reported on Thursday that Raji signed a five-year, $28.5 million deal. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Friday that Raji would receive just under $18 million in guaranteed money.

Raji, a former Boston College defensive tackle, was drafted ninth overall and is expected to start at defensive end for the Packers. His holdout was the longest involving a Packers draft pick since offensive lineman Ross Verba missed 22 days of training camp in 1997.

Raji is not expected to play in the Packers' preseason opener Saturday against Cleveland at Lambeau Field.

Raji said his contract negotiations took longer than he expected but he faulted neither Packers' management nor his agent. He spent the time working out and trying to stay calm.

"To be honest with you, it was tough. I love football," he said. "The money obviously is good, but football-wise, it doesn't mean too much."

Raji said he planned to be ready for the Aug. 22 preseason game against the Buffalo Bills in Green Bay.

"I am in good shape," he said. "I have to show them I am in football shape."

ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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