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Saturday Told Manning of His Decision to Come to Green Bay

Jeff Saturday is the new center for the Packers, and it comes with somewhat of a surprise, as many felt he would end up wherever Payton Manning did, which of course was Denver.

ESPN reports that Saturday called Manning, and told him of his decision to wind up with the Pack.

New Packers center Jeff Saturday called Peyton Manning as soon as he signed his deal with Green Bay, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Many expected Saturday to sign with whichever team landed Manning. But Saturday told the newspaper in a telephone interview on Saturday that the Packers were a better fit for him than the Denver Broncos would have been.

The Packers did not groom an obvious replacement at center, a rarity for them and just one reason why the addition of Jeff Saturday was necessary, writes Kevin Seifert. Blog

“Peyton is a close friend and I loved playing with him,” Saturday told the newspaper. “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.”

League sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Saturday’s deal is for $7.75 million, including $4 million in 2012.

The 36-year-old Saturday has started 188 regular season games in 13 NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He replaces former Packers starter Scott Wells, who signed with the St. Louis Rams as a free agent.

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