I'm probably not as enthusiastic as most Green Bay Packers fans are about the signing of free agent center Jeff Saturday, who's spent the previous 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He was ranked as the 5th best center last year and the Packers need a center after Scott Wells signed with the Rams.
But many people expected him to retire. The Colts were willing to offer him another contract, but not as a player. They wanted him to work in their front-office. While he apparently wanted and received a two-year contract, this looks like a one-year stop gap. The Packers should still have a center on their wish list in the upcoming draft. At least now they have a veteran option if the rookie doesn't work out, or a rookie available in case Saturday decides to retire.
I'm really surprised Saturday didn't join Peyton Manning in Denver, but they must not have offered much money and/or showed any interest. GM Ted Thompson doesn't splurge in free agency and isn't known to outbid anyone. While the terms might not be rich, maybe two-years and $6 million, Mike McCarthy had dinner with Saturday, and it appears the team made an effort to show that he was wanted. That bit of respect can go a long way. [It ends up being two-years and $7.75 million, $4 million in 2012, which is richer than I expected. It's probably what they wanted to pay Scott Wells, but Wells was obviously able to find a more lucrative contract with the Rams.]
Another minor move was the signing of DT Daniel Muir. I don't want to make a big deal about it because I don't expect he'll even make the team next year. But with the recent suspension of Mike Neal, and no guarantees that they'll find a good defensive lineman or two in the draft, they could use some more bodies. Muir was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Packers in 2007, and he showed some promise as a pass rushing defensive tackle in his first season. After the Packers traded Corey Williams in 2008, I was expecting Muir to emerge to take Williams's place as a rotational tackle. Instead, he had a poor preseason, and he was released before the start of the 2008 season. He did land with the Colts, and he had a solid 2009 season (10 games started, 52 tackles) during their Super Bowl run. But he was really bad in 2010, He barely played at all last season before his release in November. He's got NFL size (6-2, 312 lbs.) but not NFL ability.