This is the time of the year where the NFL rumor mill typically hits its apex. The NFL Scouting Combine induces teams to toss around misinformation, and the opening of free agency has agents and general managers posturing for bargaining power. So it's no surprise when rumors about a soon-to-be free agent leak.
Now it appears such a rumor has surfaced regarding Packers cornerback Sam Shields.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Silverstein, via a tweet from Brian Carriveau, Shields and his agent Drew Rosenhaus desire a contract in the four-year, $22.4 million range. Such a deal would pay Shields similarly to Tim Jennings whom the Bears recently extended.
This is an odd report to untangle. The supposed contract demand is very team friendly. Shields is an established number one cornerback with elite speed and only 26 years old. To lock him down for four years at an average salary of $5.6 million would be a dream scenario for any team. However, the Packers under Ted Thompson haven't been known to leak information like this. At the same time, it's difficult to see Drew Rosenhaus leaking lowball contract demands for his client.
Ultimately, this probably isn't the contract that Shields signs. If no agreement is in place by March 11, the Packers may franchise tag him to avoid other teams from stepping in and blowing up the price tag. Alternatively, if the Packers do re-sign Shields, it'll almost certainly cost more than $5.6 million per year.