GREEN BAY - Guard Josh Sitton said his primary motivation in signing with the Chicago Bears wasn't a chance to play the Green Bay Packers twice a year.
Speaking to reporters inside the Bears locker room, Sitton said, things like familiarity with the division, proximity to his home and the job head coach John Fox has done were all factors in picking the Bears.
"I like the weather up here," Sitton deadpanned. "It's too damn hot in the South."
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Sitton said that guard Kyle Long texted him soon after the Packers released him Saturday to encourage him to join the Bears. Numerous teams contacted his agent, Sitton said, and he let him handle all the financial details.
Sitton signed a three-year, $21.5 million deal that included $10 million guaranteed.
"I wanted to get the decision made yesterday or today, as quickly as I can," Sitton said. "I wanted to get to where I was going and be able to learn the offense and be able to jump in right this week. The longer it took, the harder it would have been to learn the offense. Chicago, they had me in first, and they got it done first."
When asked if part of the motivation in signing with the Bears was a chance to exact revenge on his old team, Sitton said no.
"Honestly, it didn’t have anything to do with sticking it to the Packers," he said. "More familiar with the division, close to where I was."
Sitton has a home in Green Bay and said the convenience of playing close to home was a factor. He said he didn't feel he needed to go on a nationwide tour to find a new home.
As a vested veteran, Sitton wasn't subject to waivers, so he could have signed with anybody he wanted.
"It was the closest place for me so I guess it was pretty easy," Sitton said. "You know, it’s only 2½ hours from home or from Green Bay. So, that was actually kind of a factor. It was quick and it made more sense to get to do this one first."
Sitton said he is a fan of what Fox has done with the Bears defense and believes the team is headed in the right direction.
"The business side is always the first determining factor," Sitton said. "But I think Coach Fox is building a team that can win here. I like staying in the same climate. I like playing on grass; obviously, I've been doing that my whole career. I like that aspect, and I'm familiar with the division."
Sitton said he expects to continue playing guard for the Bears.