By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The Green Bay Packers released Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday on Monday after one season, clearing the way for the longtime Indianapolis Colt to retire in the city he calls home.
The Packers, who cut veteran cornerback Charles Woodson last week, reportedly will save about $3.75 million in salary cap space by letting go of Saturday. But the release also eanbles Saturday — who announced he would retire prior to last month’s Pro Bowl — to sign a one-day contract with the Colts sometime in the coming month and officially call it a career as a member of the franchise.
“(Colts owner Jim) Irsay was always completely on board with that and had contacted me to do that,” Saturday told RTV6 sports director Dave Furst on “Sunday Sports Xtra” the day before his release. “There’s stuff that happens with the league first that has to all take place. It just takes time to get things done.”
Saturday, who went undrafted out of North Carolina in 1998, played in 197 games over 13 seasons in Indianapolis. He was a part of two Super Bowl teams with the Colts, winning one NFL title, and remains a fan favorite.
Indianapolis chose not to re-sign the veteran center — who made his sixth Pro Bowl appearance in 2012 — last season, and Saturday briefly contemplated retirement before signing with Green Bay.
He started the first 14 games this season for the Packers before being benched in the season’s final two weeks.
Saturday and former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning provided one of the Pro Bowl’s most replayed highlights when they lined up for one final snap together in Hawaii despite the fact Saturday was playing for the NFC and Manning was wearing the AFC’s colors.