Good news for Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields. The knee injury he suffered on the first drive of Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers isn’t serious.
It was initially thought Shields suffered a strained MCL, but an MRI revealed it’s only a bone bruise.
Shields was the Packers best cornerback this season and his absence hurt the team on Sunday. While the Packers were able to shut down Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, they were not able to contain Michael Crabtree, who had eight catches for 125 yards.
The news also means Shields, who’s about to be a free agent, won’t have questions about his health entering the offseason. And that means he’s going to cash in.
Whether that means the Packers are going to be the ones to pay him is unclear. The team had been working with Shields on a new contract during the season, but the sides couldn’t agree on a number.
Shields still should be the Packers’ top free agent priority, but Tramon Williams and the $7.5 million he’s owned next season complicates matters.
Extend Williams and lower his cap number and then sign Shields. I should be a GM! See how easy that was.
But Shields is going to rake in a TON of money. My feeling is that they get outbid and with the franchise tag at 11 million for a corner we just can’t keep him.
Extending Williams to save cap space is a great idea, but I would also be fine with letting Shields and his agent and his $8+ mil a year walk. Next year you can put Tramon on one side and Casey Heyward on the other.
Tramon is a better tackler and a better physical match up against the big WRs in our division. Plus, he’s already signed.
You don’t spend $15+ mil on your corners. There are more important areas to spend your money on.
OLB (x2) (3-4)
DE (x2) (4-3)
Island CB (x2)
Excluding FAs, we have high impact players at QB, LT (presumably), and 1 maybe (maybe) 2 OLBs, 1 maybe 2 CBs, 0 ILB, 1 DL, arguably a C and RG, a LG, 1-3 HBs, 0 TEs, and 2-3 WRs, and 0 S (somewhere between CB and ILB).
With SS, BJR, AQ, JJ (x2), JF, MN, and CJW all coming off the books (among others) and BJR, JF, CJW, and MN very possibly not returning, I say try to convince SS to take $1-3M/yr less than top CB money. Re-sign AQ, Jolly Green, and maybe JJ. Then try to find a safety (I think Burnett could be a lot better playing opposite a higher-caliber S, as he was w/ Collins) some big bodies, an ILB, and TE (in that order).
Next year half way through training camp the medical staff will realize Shields needed surgery all along and will be out for 3 months.
Shields is one of the fastest guys in the NFL and our best CB. And our secondary is still hurt even with him on the team. I don’t really want to see what it’s like going forward without him.
With Rosenhaus as his agent, the only way Shields stays with the Pack is he is unable to figure out how to get that giant G tatt he got after the Super Bowl off his neck, and decides it’s just easier to stay in Green Bay rather than have to fuck with it.
Hope he stays, but he won’t get top CB money. If they provide him with a longer contract and/or more guaranteed money, and he believes GB is a legitimate contender, then maybe he’ll stay. However, the failed negotiations earlier in the season now appear to be quite the portent..