Jeff Saturday officially retired from the NFL today, signing a one day contract with the Colts. Although Saturday's playing career is over, his career with the Colts is not. Jim Irsay announced that he will be joining the organization in media relations.
For 13 years, Jeff Saturday was a member of the Colts, starting 188 games and appearing in 197. He spent last year in Green Bay after the Colts didn't re-sign him, and today he signed a one-day contract with the Colts so that he could retire with the organization.
Owner Jim Irsay said that Saturday took over the city of Indianapolis with his integrity, adding later that "of course" Saturday will go into the ring of honor. Saturday returned the compliments, saying that "you could not ask for a classier organization", specifically mentioning Jim Irsay and his involvement with the players, something Saturday described as "rare" in the NFL.
He thanked everyone: the fans and the community, the training staff, the equipment staff, the Colts players (including those players in his "Colts' Hall of Fame" - Marvin Harrison, Tarik Glenn, Peyton Manning, Hunter Smith, Justin Snow, Dwight Freeney, Raheem Brock, Dallas Clark, Robert Mathis, Bob Sanders, Ryan Lilja, Jim Sorgi), and the Colts coaching staff.
When Saturday finished, he said "I'm officially retired! It's a done deal!" He then held up his #63 jersey with Irsay one last time. He then took a few questions, including one about his relationship with Peyton Manning. Saturday said of his longtime quarterback that "he is an incredible teammate" and that "he is one of the most incredible leaders I have ever been around." He then took what some perceive to be a subtle jab at Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers by saying that his time in Green Bay made him appreciate the leadership of Peyton even more.
Saturday added that the record he is most proud of is the record he shares with Manning - longest tenured QB/C duo. He then addressed his all-time favorite memory with the Colts, and without hesitation he said the 2006 AFC Championship victory over the Patriots, which is the same answer that most players, coaches, and fans will give as well. Saturday said he thinks it was the best their offensive line ever played, and Irsay even began the presser by saying that the one play that stands out in his mind of Saturday was his fumble recovery touchdown in that game.
Perhaps the most pertinent information moving forward, however, was the announcement that Saturday will join the Colts' front office and work in media relations. Irsay said that in the future sometime Saturday may pursue coaching or being a general manager, but that for now he will remain with the organization in that role. His specific duties are yet to be determined.
Today is a day to celebrate the career of one of the all-time great Colts. You couldn't ask for a better guy or a better representation of the franchise. Thanks for the way you always gave 100%; thanks for the fact that you always conducted yourself in a good manner; thanks for the fact that you were such a great leader and teammate to so many. Thanks for the memories. We look forward to having you continue to represent the Colts' franchise.