The Packers were able to get through the first game of the post-Josh Sitton era with no major protection problems.
But they were apparently much more worried about the locker room atmosphere if the Pro Bowl guard had stayed, which led to his surprising release during final cuts.
According to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers were concerned that the All-Pro guard was disgruntled by not being a priority for a contract extension, and that once he found that out during camp “they were fostering a poisonous atmosphere.”
Overtly, Sitton never seemed to be a grumbler, but sources said he could also be “brash and highly opinionated,” and sometimes “openly disparaged personnel moves, coaching decisions and his teammates’ abilities” around the team facility.
The concern seemed to be that his attitude was rubbing off on younger players, which contributed to the decision.
Coupled with the fact he’s 30 and dealing with back issues and he was due to make $5.9 million this year, the Packers made a classic business decision. The Bears were happy to accommodate him, quickly signing him to a three-year deal.
The Packers replaced Sitton at left guard with Lane Taylor, a former undrafted player who signed a two-year, $4.15 million contract this offseason.