News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 5, 2013

Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday will make his retirement from the National Football League official on Thursday.

Saturday — who played 14 years in the NFL, 13 with the Colts and last season with the Green Bay Packers — will sign a one-day contract with Indianapolis and then leave the game during a special ceremony at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

“The years I spent with the Colts were truly remarkable, and I am honored to be able to retire as a member of one of the classiest organizations in the NFL,” the former Pro Bowl center said in a statement released by the Colts on Monday. “I also want to thank Green Bay for the opportunity to compete as a member of the Packers last season.

“During my time in Indianapolis, I made tremendous relationships with numerous teammates, coaches and staff within the organization. It was also a pleasure playing for [Colts owner] Mr. [Jim] Irsay who is a wonderful owner. He gave tremendous support for my wife and I in all of our community endeavors.

“There were so many successful seasons that I was part of, but nothing tops our Super Bowl championship during the 2006 season. I’ll never forget the support of Colts fans and the City of Indianapolis during my time here. My wife and I love this community and have established our roots here. We’re looking forward to the next chapter in Indianapolis.”

It’s expected that the Tucker, Ga., native will be hired by the Colts for an unspecified job, although details have not been released. Irsay had tweeted late last week that Saturday would have a “presence” with the team going forward.

An undrafted free agent who had signed with Indianapolis in 1998 after being released by the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday made his debut with the Colts a year later. He went on to start in 202 of the 211 games during his time with the team.

Saturday played in six Pro Bowls, five with Indianapolis, and was a two-time first-team All-Pro selection. His 13 seasons in Indianapolis rank tied for the third most in franchise history, while his 197 games played is currently tied for fourth in franchise history.

Moala re-signed — Defensive end Fili Moala, who was due to become an unrestricted free agent on March 12, has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Colts. Moala missed the second-half of the 2012 season with a knee injury.   

With Moala agreeing to a new contract, Indianapolis now has 13 unrestricted free agents. Two — outside linebacker/defensive end Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie — have already been told that they will not be re-signed.