Packers: G Lane Taylor earns contract extension

From undrafted free agent to long-term contract extension. That’s the path that Green Bay Packers guard Lane Taylor started in 2013 and completed on Monday when the team announced it had extended the contract of the second-year starter.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal is a three-year extension worth $16.5 million. His signing bonus was $5 million and will make $7.8 million in 2017.

Taylor, an Oklahoma State product, joined the team in 2013 after not being drafted. He was a backup for his first three years, and it appeared he would hold that same role in 2016. But when the team announced its cuts prior to the first game of the season, the Packers shockingly parted ways with Pro Bowl guard Josh Sutton, which thrust Taylor into the starting gig at left guard. The move paid off handsomely for Green Bay and Taylor, who went on to start all 16 games.

“I’m glad to stay here for the next four years,” Taylor told reporters on Monday. “Great feeling, great accomplishment and a dream come true. [I] couldn’t be more excited to be here.”

The 27-year-old would have been one of 14 unrestricted free agents the Packers would have had to deal with after the season. His signing leaves the likes of center Corey Linsley, wide receiver Davante Adams and safety Morgan Burnett as potential priorities in terms of new contracts moving forward.

Sitton moves on, Taylor steps in for the Packers

For the first time since 2008, Josh Sitton will not be one of the Green Bay Packers starting guards when they open the season. That’s as a result of the team releasing the veteran on Saturday, a surprising move that caught his teammates by surprise.

“Nobody’s safe, I guess,” guard T.J. Lang said of what the move signaled. “I’ve been here eight years now, and it’s one of the most surprising cuts that I’ve seen.”

Sitton signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but many are still wondering why Green Bay allowed him to go in the first place. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that there was some tension between Sitton and the team over his contract status. Sitton was set to be a free agent after the season, and the former fourth-round pick was upset that the Packers were apparently concentrating on extending other players before him.

“There’s a lot of things that go into this decision,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “This was not just one thing.”

When he met with the media in Chicago, Sitton didn’t have an explanation for why he was let go, but maintained his signing with a divison rival wasn’t an effort to get back at Green Bay for anything.

“Honestly, it didn’t have anything to do with sticking it to the Packers,” he told reporters. “More familiar with the division, close to where I was.”

While many still wonder what happened, the Packers are moving on and getting ready for their season opener against Jacksonville on Sunday. And they’re doing so with the plan of starting Lane Taylor at left guard, Sitton’s old spot. Taylor, a former undrafted free agent that’s been with the team since 2013, has started a pair of games in his career.

“He’s prepared for this,” McCarthy said. “We have all the confidence in the world in Lane and really our offensive line group.”

For Taylor’s part, he’s not looking at is as he’s replacing Sitton, who he said was vital to his development as a player.

“The business can be cutthroat at times and tough decisions have to be made,” he said. “I’m not a part of that. I just show up to work, try to get better and help out this football team.”

Report: Sitton signs with Bears

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Well Packers fans if you weren’t happy with the Packers cutting Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton yesterday you really won’t like this news! Sitton has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears, according to Alex Marvez ofSporting News.

The Packers surprisingly cut Sitton on Saturday. He reportedly was released because he wasn’t happy with the team’s decision to extend a contract that was due to expire after the coming season, althought Sitton has denied that report.

In signing Sitton, the Bears will likely start him immediately at left guard over second-round rookie Cody Whitehair.

Sitton will return to Green Bay on Thursday, October 20, when the Packers host the Bears on a Thursday night.