Yes, it’s true. I primarily wanted to write this story so I could write that headline — Josh Sitton: Now With Less Fat.
That being said, there is something to be said for Sitton showing up for OTAs 20 pounds lighter than he was last season.
For one, Sitton will turn 30 next month. He’s not a running back, so that shouldn’t signal a significant decrease in production or ability, but he is entering his ninth NFL season. Sitton is getting up there in miles, especially for a guy who gets beat on every single play he’s on the field.
Sitton has had to deal with constant nagging injuries in recent seasons. While he’s managed to play through those, no one plays their best when they’re in pain.
A little less fat, a little less pressure on the rest of your body.
Second, Sitton didn’t play particularly well in 2015. Don’t take that the wrong way. He was still a top-tier guard, but we used to say Sitton was hands-down the Packers’ best offensive lineman. That wasn’t the case in 2015, when T.J. Lang was clearly better and Sitton seemed to struggle at times.
Being in better shape should push that performance back to where we’re all used to seeing it.
Third — and this is most important if you’re Josh Sitton — is the contract.
Sitton is in the final year of his deal with the Packers. He has a shot to get one more big-money contract and so of course he’s going to be motivated to be in the best shape possible.
Is he going to get that deal from the Packers? No one around here believes that will happen, but Sitton is going to get paid by someone when he becomes a free agent. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler and three-time second-team All Pro, who likely has three to five good years left.
Why wouldn’t the Packers re-sign him?
Cost, for one. They can’t be handing out big-money contracts to every guy on their offensive line. They’ve already overpaid right tackle Bryan Bulaga and will have to make decisions on three other 2017 free agents as well — Lang, David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter.
Replacements, for two. Even if the Packers don’t re-sign Sitton or Lang, they can easily replace those guys. Backup Lane Taylor is under contract through next season, Tretter would be a cheaper replacement and there have been rumors the Packers would even like to try Bakhtiari at guard.
We’ll see what happens, but obviously with a good season, Sitton aims to make that decision a tough one.