Packers GM Ted Thompson spends money very carefully. I wouldn’t compare him to George Costanza, but he’s up there. However, due to a reputation of not taking risks, Green Bay is in good cap space standing with enough dough to keep their own and shop for a few free agents. Ted Thompson admitted the first priority is to re-sign some Packers. Cornerback Sam Shields is the first big name to earn his first big contract.
Shields and the Pack agreed yesterday to a four-year, $39 million contract, as first reported by Pro Football Talk. Shields is a talented cover corner in his prime at 26 years old. Just days ago, it seemed the two sides were ready to split up, letting Shields test free agency. At first, negotiations with agent Drew Rosenhaus for a franchise tag were declined by Green Bay management; smart move. Shields would’ve cost $11.8 million for one year. Essentially, Thompson saved a few bucks in the long run and managed to keep a leader on defense. And $39 million isn’t too shabby for an undrafted free agent back in 2010.
In a passing league with rules favoring offenses, it pays to have a deep secondary so locking-up Sam Shields is a testament to his playmaking ability.
Shields recorded 61 tackles and four picks this past season. Including playoffs, he has 17 interceptions in his five year career. Shields has a knack for changing games and can play at any corner position; out wide versus the likes of “Megatron” Calvin Johnson or in the slot mirroring speedsters like Percy Harvin.
Shields has earned this contract being a defensive captain always coming through in the clutch. Perhaps his brightest moments come in the biggest stage; the playoffs. Imagine a rookie making the game clinching pick in Chicago sending the Packers to Super Bowl XLV.
We can't forget his season saving pick in the 37-36 comeback win at Dallas most recently. Sam Shields has earned his money. Now it’s time to show the league he was worth it.
Next on the free agent checklist, is All-Pro fullback and fan favorite John Kuhn. Not many fullbacks receive standing ovations. The Lambeau faithful actually chants “Kuuuuuhn” every play he makes. Kuhn is popular and virtually irreplaceable. Time and time again, he makes key blocks, he’s A-Rod’s personal protector, he’s open for check-downs, he’s a short yardage specialist, and leads the way for Rookie of the Year running back Eddie Lacy who needs a veteran presence. It would be a wise decision to re-sign unrestricted free agent John Kuhn, or else, “Kuuuuuhn” could sound like “Booooos”.