The Green Bay Packers have one impending free agent among their cornerbacks, and he is sure to be the team's top priority in free agency during the 2014 offseason. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the team has been in contact regularly with Sam Shields and his agent to express interest in signing him to a long-term deal.
Shields was a part-time starter through his first two seasons in the NFL before taking over as a starter in 2012 when Charles Woodson was moved to safety. He has shown excellent ball skills, recording at least two interceptions each year and tying a career-high with four in 2013. Beyond the regular season numbers, Shields has been big in crunch time as well, picking off two balls in the 2010 NFC Championship Game against the Bears and one in each of the team's 2012 playoff games (including the one he returned for an interception against the 49ers).
The physical tools have always been there for Shields, who moved from wide receiver to corner in college at Miami, but now that his technique is catching up he has become a critical piece of the Packers' defense. A deal similar to the one the Bears agreed to recently with corner Tim Jennings seems reasonable - that deal went for four years and $22.4 million, with about half of the money guaranteed. If Shields' camp wants more than that, it's reasonable to think that he will hit the open market and truly see what his value is.
14 games, 14 starts
61 tackles (51 solo), 4 interceptions, 17 passes defended
One-year Restricted Free Agent Tender (second-round)
$2.023 million base salary
53 games played, 35 starts
157 tackles (135 solo), 13 interceptions, 43 passes defended, one sack, one fumble forced, one fumble recovery
Undrafted Free Agent - signed after 2010 NFL Draft