Releasing John Sitton had nothing to do with declining ability (he’s still very good) or money. The Green Bay Packers cut the Pro Bowl guard because of his attitude, opinions, and making himself heard last season.
The cracks may have begun forming last December, when Sitton criticized the team’s offense plans, and more to the point, aimed his words at head coach Mike McCarthy, who has often been criticized from the outside of the team by fans and the media for wasting away a talent like Aaron Rodgers with terrible play calling. McCarthy wasn’t pleased with the criticism to say the least, later saying to reporters that “Sitton needs to play guard”.
A few months later, and the Packers didn’t offer Sitton, a three-time Pro Bowler and a Packers player since 2008, any hope of getting an extension to his deal during the season, making it quite clear that he wasn’t going to be lasting too long on the team. The Packers released him before he was set to make $6.15 million in 2016, the last season following a five-year extension he signed in 2011.
Sitton joined the Packers biggest rivals, the Chicago Bears, signing a three-year, $21 million deal, pairing up with Kyle Long to form what could be a terrific interior QB protection tandem. The Packers will now move on with Lane Taylor and T.J Lang. Lang is a fantastic guard, but Taylor has close to zero experience in the NFL.
Why did Sitton choose the Bears? Some thing it was to spite the Packers, but Long has said he’s simply been in his ear since the moment Sitton was released. Sitton himself said he didn’t want to leave the area, preferring the weather up North to the head in the Southern United States.