Once center Jeff Saturday agreed to join the Green Bay Packers last week, he knew the next thing on his to-do list was to make a possibly uncomfortable phone call.
Quarterback Peyton Manning, his Indianapolis Colts teammate for the entirety of his NFL career, pushed hard for Saturday to join him on the Denver Broncos, and Saturday knew a displeased Manning would be waiting for him on the other end of that phone call.
"Peyton is a close friend, and I loved playing with him," Saturday told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "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."
Saturday, 36, has started 188 regular-season games in 13 NFL seasons, all with the Colts, and he told the Journal Sentinel he believes he can provide the Packers with a veteran presence on the offensive line.
"They have a great offensive line and some really good, young players," said Saturday, whose two-year deal reportedly is worth several millions of dollars less per year than the four-year, $26 million contract that former Packers center Scott Wells signed with the St. Louis Rams. "They won 15 games last year; it's not like I have to add a lot to it. But I think I can offer leadership, and being a veteran, I can help the offensive line blossom into players they want to be."