The Green Bay Packers have some decisions to make on several guys with contracts that expire after the season. It now looks like their top priority is cornerback Sam Shields.
The Packers have been negotiating with Shields’ agent in hopes of getting a contract extension done before the season ends, according to Pete Dougherty.
However, it appears nothing is imminent.
“Yeah, they have (been negotiating) a little bit,” Shields said. “But something we’re not agreeing with. Things happen like that. There’s still some negotiation going on.”
Shields signed a one-year restricted free agent tender before the season. He was pretty unhappy with it at the time because he was seeking a long-term deal.
He went out and let his play do the talking, though. Shields has emerged as the Packers clear-cut No. 1 corner this season. He’s often been matched up on the opposition’s top receiver and he’s responded well.
He leads the team in passes defended with 21 and is tied for the team lead in picks with three.
And at 26, he’s got plenty of good football left in him. That means the Packers are going to have pay him some bank — our guess is in the $7 million per year range.
The situation is somewhat complicated, unfortunately. Tramon Williams is set to earn $7.5 million next season in the final year of his contract. That is, providing the Packers don’t ax him in the offseason.
Then there are the other guys set to become free agents. Most notable are James Jones, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Evan Dietrich-Smith.
And to think, the Packers probably could have gotten away with paying Shields $4 million or so per season had they given him the extension he wanted before the season.