One of the bigger surprises from final roster cuts around the NFL today was the fact that the Green Bay Packers released guard Josh Sitton.
Sitton has been one of the NFL’s top guards over the last several seasons, and the move to cut him seems financially-motivated as they save $6.5 million. Sitton has made three Pro Bowls (2012, 2014, and 2015) and is a three-time second-team All-Pro (2013, 2014, and 2015). The 30-year old has played in 121 career games (starting 112) and hasn’t missed a start since 2011 (missing just two games over the last seven years in total).
Sitton was released, meaning that since he’s a veteran he doesn’t have to wait to clear waivers. He’s a free agent now, and teams can sign him when they choose. It is likely that Sitton will draw significant interest around the league, and yes, the Colts should pursue him.
They are very injured at guard right now. In fact, they’re down to their third option at left guard (Jonotthan Harrison) as Jack Mewhort and Joe Haeg are both injured. At right guard, Denzelle Good is the starter - and there’s pretty much no depth behind him. Sitton would provide the team with a starter at left guard until Mewhort could return, and then the Colts could kick Sitton over to right guard once that happens. Sitton has familiarity with Colts offensive line coach Joe Philbin as well, as Sitton played for Philbin for four years in Green Bay (2008-2011) while Philbin was the team’s offensive coordinator.
There’s really no reason for the Colts not to go after Sitton... except for money. Sitton was set to make $6.5 million with the Packers last year and reportedly wanted an extension, so it’s possible he could sign a multi-year deal with a team for a significant amount of money. Just for comparison’s sake, the Chicago Bears are reportedly giving lineman Kyle Long a four-year, $40 million extension. Long is younger (27 years old) and more versatile (he can play both guard and tackle) than Sitton, so it would be surprising to see Sitton’s deal equal that value, but he could still get a pretty nice deal. The Colts have around $12 million in cap space after the release of Nate Irving today, so they do have some room to work with - but they also might not want to spend a good portion of that on one player. They should technically be able to afford him if they wanted to, but they might be more inclined to save some of the money and roll it over to next year.
Money should be the only thing that keeps the Colts from pursuing Josh Sitton, however, as they would be dumb to not give him serious consideration at guard.