Center Jeff Saturday was supposed to follow former Indianapolis Colts teammate Peyton Manning to Denver. So, when Saturday signed with the Green Bay Packers instead of the Broncos more than a few people were surprised.
Manning wasn’t one of them, though. Saturday said he told Manning he signed with Green Bay before he told anyone else and that he did so because the Packers wanted him more.
“Peyton is a close friend and I loved playing with him,” Saturday said. “I loved the time we spent together. It was the most difficult call I’ve ever made. I told him before anyone else that I was going to Green Bay.
“I told him I don’t think the Broncos wanted me as much as he did. They’ve got things going on that they’re happy with and are moving forward with and I didn’t think it was an exact fit. I always felt like in Green Bay I was their very first choice.”
The Packers ultimately signed Saturday to a two-year deal worth $7.75 million. He met with both coach Mike McCarthy and offensive line coach James Campen when he visited Green Bay. He even watched film with Campen.
Saturday visited Tennessee and Denver after Green Bay. The Titans, who brought in both Scott Wells and Houston’s Chris Myers before Saturday, were quickly eliminated from contention for his services and it sounds like Denver was only in the mix because of Manning.
After Wells signed with St. Louis, Saturday was the first and only free agent center to visit the Packers.
If nothing else, it’s good to know the Packers can still accomplish something on the free agent market when they want to.