Yesterday, the Green Bay Packers signed cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year, $39 million contract to help solidify their secondary.
It may seem like an overpay based on what Shields has done so far, but it was necessary, and the contract was designed very nicely by general manager Ted Thompson. Shields, 26, is still an ascending player at a premium position. He did a great job shadowing the number one wide receiver of opposing teams last season, and a player who can do that is just so hard to find.
Free agency is about what a player can do for you in the future and not about what he has done. Shields’ elite speed and wide receiver ball skills will not be going away. He may not be an elite corner yet, but he is right on the cusp of that. The Packers have one of the best cornerback groups in the NFL with Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Heyward, Davon House and Micah Hyde.
With Shields’ contract out of the way, the Packers can now focus on rebuilding the rest of their defense. Keeping Shields only ensures that the defense will not get worse. Even after the signing, the Packers have about $28 million in cap space available to use this offseason.
The Packers still have huge holes at safety, inside linebacker and along the defensive line. It sounds as though rebuilding the defensive line is their next goal. Read more... (659 words, estimated 2:38 mins reading time)