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B.J. Raji still on 'hiatus'; no plans to return to Packers, NFL

INDIANAPOLIS – Don’t count on B.J. Raji to help bolster the Green Bay Packers' defense.

The former Pro Bowl defensive tackle has not shown any interest in returning to the NFL one year after he decided to take what he called a “hiatus” from the game at age 29.

“When he made the decision it was to go home and take care of his family and be with them, and he’s still doing that,” Raji’s agent, Brian Murphy, told ESPN.com Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. “His family is his first priority. He hasn’t really thought about football.”

It was at the combine last year that Murphy and fellow agent Camron Hahn were putting the finishing touches on a deal for Raji to re-sign with the Packers.

“We were pretty fired up about the deal,” Murphy recalled. “We were calling B.J. to tell him about and it, he said, ‘This is probably a good time to tell you that I’m probably not going to play football.’ I thought he was kidding. And then he started telling me all the details and it made sense.”

Murphy said Raji’s mother and aunt both have battled illnesses, and his client wanted to help his elderly father care for them.

“He wanted to take care of them, and I think that’s a tribute to him,” Murphy said. “That’s still where his focus is.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said several members of the organization have kept in touch with Raji, but there has been no indication he plans to return.

“They’d like to have him back,” Murphy said.

When asked whether that could ever happen, Murphy said: “I really don’t know. I was surprised when he decided to stop playing.”

Raji, the ninth pick in the 2009 draft, played in 91 games for the Packers and made the Pro Bowl in 2011. He came back in 2015 after he missed all of 2014 with a torn biceps. Raji made more than $26 million in seven NFL seasons, all with the Packers, who drafted nose tackle Kenny Clark in the first round last year to help offset the loss of Raji.