Jeff Saturday inks contract to retire with Colts

3/7/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsCenter Jeff Saturday returned to Indianapolis to officially retire as a member of the Colts, with whom his NFL career took off following a risky free agent signing in 1999.
 
Prior to playing his sixth and last career Pro Bowl in February, Jeff Saturday had already announced his plans of retirement. Jeff Saturday’s longtime ties with the Indianapolis Colts played up in recent day, after he made an appearance under center for the AFC Pro Bowl team (with special permission from the league), to snap the ball one last time to former Colts and friend Peyton Manning.
 
Jeff Saturday was cut by the Green Bay Packers last month, and since the Indianapolis Colts were expected to sign back the 14-year veteran to a ceremonial one-day contract to mark his end of career with the team.
 
"I'm going to sign this contract and let Jeff come up and sign his portion so we can make it official that Jeff is a Colt today, and this is not costing me anything," quipped Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, drawing laughter. "And that's rare, but Jeff did ask for a new pickup truck so I told him I would consider that."
 
Jeff Saturday responded in kind at his official retirement press conference.
 
"Like he said, it cost him a lot more the last time than it did this time," said Jeff Saturday.
 
The 37-year-ol d Jeff Saturday’s NFL career started with a sign and release as an undrafted agent by Baltimore Ravens, prior to the training camp in 1998.
 
Jeff Saturday wound up selling electrical supplies in North Carolina for less than a year when the Indianapolis Colts first took notice of him and signed him in 1997. By 2000, Jeff Saturday had already won the Indianapolis Colts starting job. In 13-years with the Indianapolis Colts, Jeff Saturday appeared in 197 games while starting in 188. But he left as a free agent for Green Bay last year and was not re-signed by the Packers at the end of the 2012 season.
 
At the press conference, Jeff Saturday fondly remembered his time in Indianapolis, while appearing grateful for the opportunity to retire with the Colts.
 
"This does not happen for many players, especially many offensive linemen. I'm excited to retire as a Colt. I mean, this is my home. This is what we've supported for so many years,” said Jeff Saturday. “I was known, no matter what team I was playing for, as a Colt. So it's good to put that horseshoe on and go out that way."
 
Jeff Saturday also held the Indianapolis Colts responsible for playing a major role in reaching a compromise following the 2011 lockout.
 
"This organization is what I hope all the NFL teams strive to be. In every negotiation I was involved with the PA (players association) and the NFL,” continued Jeff Saturday, “ I used us (the Colts) as an example of what you should strive to and I make no bones about it. This organization is the best in the business and it will continue."
 
Jim Irsay also revealed that Jeff Saturday has been offered a job in the Indianapolis Colts' community relations and marketing department, while there will be a future job waiting for him on the team’s coaching staff or in the front office.
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