One year deal offered to B.J. Raji may indicate bargains are available

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Raji nor Nicks established themselves as top of the line players in 2013. If they're willing to take one-year deals to basically re-do their previous contract years, it may make them attractive gambles.

An earlier (likely agent-planted) tidbit had the Steelers "interested" in Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley. The Packers gave Finley a two-year contract in 2012, basically splitting the difference of the tight end and wide receiver franchise tag amount.

The Packers have reportedly offered nose tackle B.J. Raji a one and a two-year deal (separately, of course), and bid him well as he pursues longer offers in free agency.

Hakeem Nicks is apparently looking to voluntarily go the one-year contract route, wisely keeping his options open as his injury-riddled 2013 season dropped his free agent stock considerably.

While the Steelers aren't exactly hurting on the offensive side of the ball, and while Raji isn't exactly Mean Joe re-incarnate, if the Packers started a trend by offering up key players what amounts basically to "prove it" deals (a route Nicks is ok with), why shouldn't the Steelers take them up on it?

Or, perhaps a two-year deal with the bulk of the money resting in that second year.

If a player like Nicks - one who's showed past production and injuries could be the reason for his decline - indeed wants to prove it, why not do it with a surging offense, an outstanding quarterback and plenty of room to own the team's split end position?

With all due respect to Jerricho Cotchery, Nicks has more physical ability and with some reasonable arrangements, would find himself comfortable in Pittsburgh's offense.

As for Raji, he's the pure nose tackle the Steelers could use on running downs and goal line, and similarly to Nicks, underperformed in his contract year. If Raji could get more dollars in Pittsburgh over a one-year, or a back-loaded two-year deal, he could set himself up to stay there long-term.

It'll be interesting to see if more players are willing to take the risk of a one-year deal in exchange for a second contract year, especially considering the salary cap increases expected between 2015-16 are significant. It may not be a bad risk for either the player or the team to take.

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