It’s over Green Bay Packer fans … Sam Shields will be returning to the Packers in 2014. In fact, he will be coming back for another four years. After not franchise tagging him, it looked like the Packers wouldn’t bring back the Miami product. But Ted Thompson surprised many by bringing back Shields on a four-year, $39 million contract. Key players such as Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jermichael Finley and B.J. Raji are all set to be free agents in 2014. Bringing back Shields was a big positive for the Packers and their future.
Shields had an excellent year in 2014, but it wasn’t like he was a top cornerback. If Shields fled for free agency, the Packers would have a huge hole for the cornerback position opposite of Tramon Williams. Over the past four seasons, Shields has the fourth-most interceptions in all of the NFL. In the prime of his young NFL career, Shields was expected to grab a lot of attention around the league in free agency for teams who are lacking at the cornerback position. Although he lacks consistency against the run game, Shields has an excellent combination of ball skills and acceleration that allow him to catch up to receivers to make plays on the ball.
Many remember Shields’ interception against the Dallas Cowboys when he picked off Tony Romo that basically allowed the Packers to go on and win the game. Although it was an awful throw by Romo, Shields was beaten off the line scrimmage by Miles Austin. But with his speed, Shields was able to come across and create a takeaway. Although he is only 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, Shields plays bigger than he is. Another thing I love about Shields is his toughness. Shields came into the NFL in 2010. But 255 picks in the NFL Draft went by, and Shields wasn’t selected in any of them. The Packers were able to sign Shields as an undrafted free agent after the draft. He was extremely raw in the draft process, but he showed that he had potential of being a solid slot cornerback in the NFL. But even that measurement wasn’t enough for Shields who is now the Packers’ best cornerback on the roster.
By re-signing Shields, the Packers fill a need on their awful defenses. At times in 2013, the converted cornerback was the best player on this defense. Shields’ contract set the barometer for the price ranges of the other cornerbacks in free agency. Alterraun Verner, Vontae Davis and Aqib Talib will now all see similar money in free agency. Right now, this deal looks like a good one for Green Bay. But, time will tell if giving all of this money to Shields was a good idea or not.