Earlier this week the Green Bay Packers made the difficult decision to part ways with cornerback Sam Shields. In his seven years with Green Bay, Shields built a reputation as an explosive cornerback whose presence was notably missed on the field for most of this year. As an undrafted free agent, Shields stepped into Green Bay in 2010 and became a vital contributor to the Packers defense by helping the team to several winning seasons. For that Green Bay will always be grateful.
As a fan, seeing Sam Shields leave was incredibly heartbreaking because at just 29 years old he was reaching the prime of his career. However, after being diagnosed with his fifth concussion early last season, it’s clear that the move makes sense for the Packers organization from both a financial and a health perspective. We ask the league to be more responsible with player health and safety by taking the appropriate precautions and that is exactly what Green Bay did here. It may not have been an easy decision, but it was the right one.
On that note, as we say goodbye to a modern day Packer legend, we’ll relive his greatness by counting down the top five moments of his career in Green Bay.
5. When the Packers played the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game two years ago, the outcome was not pretty in the end. The Packers went on to lose 28-22 but for a brief moment, Sam Shields gave fans everywhere something to be proud of when he grabbed this beautiful pick off Russell Wilson in the end zone.
4. There’s nothing like Lambeau in December and there’s definitely nothing like an interception made by Sam Shields...at Lambeau...in December. When the Packers hosted the Cowboys at the frozen tundra in December of 2015, Shields graced us with this end zone pick on Cowboys’ QB Matt Cassel. Green Bay went on to win 28-7.
3. When Green Bay hosted the Lions on Thanksgiving day in 2013 the outcome was not favorable for the Packers. The offense may have looked unforgivably atrocious and the defense may have looked equally as bad, but Shields offered one moment of happiness when he stepped in front of Megatron for this pick off Matthew Stafford in the end zone. The Packers went on to lose 40-10.
2. Coming off of their Super Bowl winning season, Green Bay did not have much to lose by week 17 the following year. Although they had already secured their spot in the playoffs with a 14-1 record, this interception by Shields gave Packers’ fans an extra bit of pride as he took them to 15-1 with his pick on Matthew Stafford once again. Unfortunately Green Bay ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs against the Giants, but for a moment, Sam Shields made us all a little happier.
1. Of all the contributions Sam Shields has made to the Packers on the field, none is more wonderful than this moment where he solidified Green Bay’s spot in Super Bowl XLV. With less than a minute left on the clock and down by one score on a fourth and four in the NFC championship game, QB Caleb Hanie lined up in the shotgun and searched desperately for an open receiver down the field. Unfortunately, on the Bear’s last ditch effort, Hanie threw into double coverage where Sam Shields was waiting for the pick. Not only was Shields a rookie at this point but he had an interception earlier in that game as well. G.O.A.T.
During his career in Green Bay, Sam Shields recorded 214 total tackles and 18 interceptions. While his career as a Packer may have been cut short, we’re certainly glad he was a Packer for seven years and will always be appreciative of what he brought to the field. It’s easy to say that the work he put in and the level of greatness he brought to the field will always be remembered.