Cornerback Sam Shields will be back as a Green Bay Packer next season after signing a one year restricted free agent tender worth $2,023,000. Without a contract, he has so far been unable to participate in the team’s OTAs, or organized team activities this off season.
Shields is one of the fastest members of the Green Bay Packers and has shown flashes of potential to be a top tier corner since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Miami (FL) in 2010. Not a highly touted prospect coming into the league, Ted Thompson took a chance by signing the former Hurricane even after he was arrested for marijuana possession prior to the draft.
Immediately after joining the league, he played an integral part in the Packers’ defense during their run to a Super Bowl XLV victory.
Last season was a bit of a disappointment for the third year pro. Hampered by injuries he was only able to be on the field for 53 percent of his team’s defensive snaps, and was forced to miss six games on top of that. The shin injury is not expected to linger into this season, and he will be expected to bounce back to his prior level of play this year for a defense that needs help desperately in its secondary.
Sam Shields had been hoping to sign a long term deal in the off season, but ultimately decided to sign the one year tender so that he wouldn’t have to miss the mandatory training camps he would have had to skip during a hold out. Being with the team and getting back into top playing condition is a good move by the young corner, and a sign he is going to work as hard as possible to ensure he ups his level of play this year.
Signing the one year deal can be a profitable decision as well. Should Shields put up big numbers this year, he will be in line for a hefty pay day a year from now. With plenty of years left in his tank, he can afford to hold off on a multi year deal. If he plays to his potential, the Packers are going to have to pony up plenty of cash to keep him in the future.
The Green Bay Packers have to be happy to keep their man, and even happier that he came at a cheap price. Casey Hayward and Davon House showed they have the ability to develop into quality options at the corner position as well, and the resigning of Shields will provide an open competition for playing time this year. If these men all build off of one another the Green Bay Packers could wind up with a very good secondary in the near future.
Ted Thompson has an incredible eye for talent, and by re-signing Sam Shields he and the Packers are stating that they believe last year’s mediocre effort was due to injury and not his ability. Shields only posted three interceptions last season, down from four the previous year. His number of passes defended also fell last season to 10 from 12 the previous season.
He rebounded his play in the playoffs, making two interceptions in two games, returning one of them for a 52 yard touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.
By resigning Sam Shields for only $2,023,000 the Green Bay Packers have secured a quality option at cornerback and kept the young depth the team has on its roster. Should he continue to develop, he should win the starting job opposite Tramon Williams and give the Packers secondary a much needed boost this season.
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The Guardian Express