On Monday, the Green Bay Packers made it official by releasing veteran center Jeff Saturday, a move that has been weeks in the making. During the Pro Bowl, Saturday told the media he would be retiring. “For the Packers, the procedural move allows them to wipe Saturday’s $4.75 million base salary for 2013, saving themselves $3.75 in cap room,” writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “The Packers are now roughly $20 million under the salary cap after rolling over about $7 million from last season and saving nearly $10 million by releasing veteran safety Charles Woodson on Friday.” Saturday is expected to sign a one-day contract with the Indianapolis Colts to retire with the team that drafted him.
Linebacker Clay Matthews will see a pay raise in 2013 regardless of whether or not he signs a contract extension before next season. “Due to a performance-based escalator in his rookie deal, he will see his base salary increase from a scheduled $1.492 million to $3.73 million, according to a source with access to league salary data,” writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The increase will raise his salary cap number to $4.91 million.” Matthews is not the only player who will receive a bump in pay. So will safety Morgan Burnett, defensive lineman B.J. Raji, tackle Marshall Newhouse and tight end Andrew Quarless.
In a ranking of the Packers’ restricted free agents, center Evan Dietrich-Smith is listed ahead of cornerback Sam Shields by Mike Vandermause of the Press-Gazette. “The only reason he’s ranked ahead of Sam Shields is that the Packers currently have no other player on the roster that is ready to step into the starting center role,” writes Vandermause. “That could garner EDS a first- or second-round tender.” It might be true that the Packers don’t have much depth at center, and Greg Van Roten might disagree, it’s impossible to call EDS a better football player than Shields.
An offseason forecast for the Packers is provided by Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
The top five special teams plays for the Packers in 2012 are listed at the team’s official website.
The defensive backs are the position getting attention in the daily series at ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The offseason checkup series continues at Fox Sports Wisconsin with safety M.D. Jennings.
A report card grade and evaluation of wide receiver Jordy Nelson is handed out by AllGreenBayPackers.com.
The veteran purge is examined a little more in depth at JSOnline.
Lombardi Ave. ponders if free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw would be a fit in Green Bay.
An article at Packer Report takes a look at the sacks given up by the Packers in 2012.
The Packers gave a reminder that voting for their Fan Hall of Fame ends on Friday.
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” and editor of Cheesehead TV’s “Pro Football Draft Preview.” To contact Brian, email email@example.com.