The Green Bay Packers have a few key free agents to worry about this offseason, and the biggest priority of those FAs is undoubtedly cornerback Sam Shields, who has a world of potential. I have been critical of Shields for his rawness and the fact that he gets burned too often, but he has excellent physical tools and continues to improve with each passing week. Shields has some of the best ball skills at the position in the league, and he would be a sought-after free agent on the open market due to his youth and upside. Those two traits are also reasons why the Packers really want to keep Shields around, and he’s an even bigger priority than extensions to star wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
One worry that I’ve had this offseason is that the Packers- or another team- would be forced to overpay for Shields due to the aura of the word “upside”, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein reports, via a tweet from Cheesehead TV’s Brian Carriveau, that Shields is looking for a contract similar to the one Chicago Bears corner Tim Jennings recently signed.
That’s right, Shields wants a four-year deal worth $22.4 million, meaning that he would make $5.6 million per year. That’s not overpaying, and that’s a pretty team-friendly deal considering the contract would take Shields through the prime of his career. While I have had my issues with his ability as a pure cover corner, Shields has shutdown potential and, again, great ball skills with 17 passes defended last year.
At this point in time, I would be surprised if both sides don’t agree to a deal in the near future, assuming nothing changes.