Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14

As week three of the National Football League preseason comes to an end I was looking down the list of the many former North Carolina football players that are now playing at the next level. The one that I kept going back to is a center who has been in the NFL for well over a decade and has snapped the ball for two future Hall of Famers. He came into the league undrafted and might end his journey in Canton, Ohio. For those of you that have not yet figured it out I am talking about Jeff Saturday, the 37 year old lineman who was a long time Indianapolis Colt and this season signed with the Green Bay Packers.

At Carolina Jeff Saturday played under head coach Mack Brown, being a four year letterman from 1994 to 1997 for the coach who is now at the University of Texas. His final two seasons in Chapel Hill Saturday was named captain and was voted to the first team All-ACC selection, while in 1997 he was also on the Academic All-ACC squad. His entrance to the NFL was by way of the Baltimore Ravens, who picked him up after going undrafted in 1998, but in “Charm City” the Athens, Ga native did not find any fortune and the following year he ended up with the Colts. And as they say in the movies… “the rest is history”.

Here is the list of achievements that Saturday has racked up during his stellar career…

  • 5 time Pro Bowl (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010)
  • 2 time First-team All-Pro (2005, 2007)
  • 2 time Second-team All-Pro (2006, 2009)
  • 2 time AFC Champion (2006, 2009)
  • NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year (2007)
  • In 13 years he has played in 197 games and started 188 of them
  • Since 2000 he has missed just six games in 12 seasons

…to be added to this list is the fact that the 6’2″/295 lbs center is also a Super Bowl champion with the Colts, as Indianapolis defeated Chicago 29 to 17 in Super Bowl XLI. While most people will focus on the trio of quarterback Peyton Manning, running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Marvin Harrison when speaking about the offense, it was in great part thanks to the hard work of Saturday, who guided the line in directing the blocking schemes, that the Colts gunslinger had plenty of time to throw or the running game had the possibility .

While I am not sure if this is going to do anything towards getting him to the Football Hall of Fame, Jeff Saturday has been part of the Executive Committee of the National Football League Players’ Association and many believe he played a big part in completing the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players.

But of all the things that can be listed for why Jeff Saturday should make it into the Hall of Fame, the fact that a team like Green Bay, who has the capacity to win it all, with a future member of the elite group in Canton, Ohio over center, went to get the 14 year veteran to snap the ball to him, something that the Packers do not usually do. And while in the politically correct world we live in Peyton Manning will never say this, I am sure he would have loved for his new squad, the Denver Broncos, to have gone after the veteran free agent in the off season.

For certain both Peyton Manning and, if he keeps up his play Aaron Rodgers, will end their career with a bust in Canton. For the first one as a first ballot and for the second one time will tell. But for the man who has snapped to both of them, one for over a decade and the other for the next two seasons, the road might be harder, but in the end he too should also make it there. And when he does it will be well deserved as he has been one of the best at his position in the first decade of the new century and has been part of the puzzle of why the Colts won 125 games from 2000 to 2010 and came in either first or second in their division 10 out of 11 seasons.

In the end it will be at least seven years before we can see if my theory on the veteran center is right or not. But until then we still have the luxury to watch Saturday play for another couple of years with the Packers. For more information about this former North Carolina football player make sure to come back to isportsweb often.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.