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Cheese Curds, 2/9: Assessing Packers' cornerbacks and free agency plans after Shields' release

Green Bay has the flexibility to make some waves in the free agent market, but good veteran help at corner will likely be expensive.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Perhaps no position on the Green Bay Packers' roster is in as much flux and faces as much uncertainty at this point as cornerback. The team just released veteran Sam Shields on Wednesday, and Micah Hyde is scheduled to hit the free agent market in March. That leaves a lot of youth on the roster - youth which did not do much to impress in 2016 when thrust into significant roles.

Of course, the only way to bring a veteran presence into the room would be to sign a free agent or two, which would be a departure from GM Ted Thompson's typical modus operandi. Packers fans may want to see him sign a free agent corner, but the situation is cloudy; while the team appears to have enough financial flexibility to do so, the market at the position isn't great this year.

Still, new additions don't have to break the bank. One facet of free agency that has been largely ignored in Green Bay is that of the budget players; even those players who would command minimal guarantees appear to hold little interest for Thompson. This will likely be a talking point throughout the offseason, but it's one that gets examined closely in one of today's Cheese Curds.

Packers must capitalize on cap space |
It's a good thing that Mark Murphy delegates duties the way he does and refuses to interfere with the people he has put in place to make decisions. Still, it's also fair to expect Ted Thompson to use some of the $43 million in cap space that he has at his disposal.

Joe Callahan happy to be 'home' in Green Bay |
Callahan's 2016 took him from Delaware to Wisconsin to Louisiana to Ohio, then finally back to Wisconsin when the Packers brought him back in November. He's hoping for a much less-eventful 2017.

Future is now for Packers CBs Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins - ESPN
After cutting Sam Shields and with Micah Hyde becoming a free agent, the Packers have a single cornerback with more than two years of experience under contract for 2017: Demetri Goodson. That will probably change over the next few weeks (we expect that Hyde will re-sign), but it's a scary thought nonetheless.

Aaron Donald leads Top-10 interior pass rushers -
When opposing quarterbacks release the football, Mike Daniels is an average of 4.05 yards away. That's good for third place among all tackles in the entire NFL, behind only perennial Pro Bowlers Donald and Geno Atkins.

Philadelphia Eagles cut cornerback Leodis McKelvin -
McKelvin was due to earn about $3.2 million in 2017, and he did not play well last season after a good long tenure in Buffalo.

How France is bringing romance back to American football -
There are an estimated 22,000 people playing football in France now, as the popularity of the sport continues to grow. It also gives the small group of players a sense of community and purpose that, for many of the individuals, was lacking.