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Sam Shields Did Break the Bank… with the Packers

Sam Shields

The Green Bay Packers did what was pretty much unthinkable earlier this week. They threw a boatload of money at cornerback Sam Shields and Shields took it.

The deal is reportedly worth $39 million over four years. It includes a $12.5 million signing bonus and $15 million in 2014.

That’s super for Shields and the future of the Packers’ salary cap. Obviously the deal is front-loaded, so the Packers won’t be hamstrung by the contact in future seasons.

That being said, it also sucks up nearly half of the the team’s available salary cap space this season. And guess what that means. The Packers probably won’t be participating in free agency after all.

If the numbers are correct, the Packers will have approximately $18 million left to spend. Some of that will go to their own free agents and some will go to their draft class. Some of it will also likely go toward extensions for Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

And then what’s left? Not much.

Let’s get back to Shields though. The Packers wanted to pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5 million per season. Shields, obviously, wanted a hell of a lot more.

He broke off negotiations with the Packers nearly a week ago and told everyone he’d be testing the market.

That gave Shields all the leverage and it looked like he was as good as gone. This contract — at $9.75 million annually — ties Shields for the third-highest salary at his position. He trails only Tampa’s Darrelle Revis and Dallas’ Brandon Carr.

Good for Sam Shields and good for the Packers for being able to keep their No. 1 free agent, even if the numbers are a little eye-popping.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. ay hombre March 8, 2014

    Holy shit. Didn’t see this coming.

  2. Tyler March 8, 2014

    Might be a little higher than everyone thought but he can for sure live up to this contract. Lets not forget that he has only been playing corner for 5 years and is still getting better. Nice to see TT shell out some cash to keep our biggest free agent priority.

  3. Zack March 8, 2014

    This is a terrible move…. I’m not impressed with TT. He’s paying more for shields than he paid Woodson and Williams and they were in pro bowl form when they got their paydays why not bring in a big time safety with that much money? Wth that’s just irresponsible qnd idiotic. I haven’t been this pissed since he made hawk the second highest paid ilb in the league

    1. Vijay March 9, 2014

      I feel and fear you are right on all accounts. We overspent to retain our own Free Agent. Our starting DBs have got to be at or near the highest paid in the league. Lot of money for the back end of the D when it was apparent we needed the most improvement up the middle/ front 7….but whatever, he’s a very good player. This makes things very, very interesting for the draft and balance of Free agency.

    2. Kato March 9, 2014

      Couldnt agree more. He is a good corner, probably in the top 10. But there is NO way he is worth close 10 million a year. Just hope this doesnt turn out as bad as the morgan burnett deal. Or the tramon williams deal. Lets face it, tramon hasnt played to his contract. yeah he played well in the second half of last year. But what about the 2.5 years prior? Paid like a pro bowl corner, but played average or worse.

    3. You Enjoy Myself March 11, 2014

      Could have just kept what we have, and gotten a $10 million Safety instead. This defense NEEDS an all pro Safety.

  4. the real russ letlow March 8, 2014

    he gets 15 mil in his pocket now, but that 12.5 signing bonus is prorated over the contract, right? 4 years @ 3.125 mil per? should be about 6 mil cap hit this year, which leaves us 27 mil to spend. unless I missed it completely, which could happen…..

    1. Vijay March 9, 2014

      I don’t believe signing bonuses count for the cap, only annual salary…but i could be mistaken…

      1. Shawn Neuser March 9, 2014

        Signing bonuses are prorated towards the cap.

  5. MJ March 8, 2014

    For that money he better be able to shut down even Megatron!
    Son of a dog, that effin contract cripled our free agency run to plug all the holes the team has.

    1. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

      Only two receivers got the best of Shields last season. Anquan Boldin chewed up the Packers’ zone look in Week 1, with over 100 of his 208 yards coming against Shields. And a week later, Pierre Garcon went for over 100 receiving yards during garbage time of a blowout loss.

      Shields allowed just 29 catches and 400 yards over the final 15 games (including playoffs), with a catch rate under 50 percent and an opposing passer rating under 70.0.

      This according to:


      That list includes Megatron (twice), Josh Gordon, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Jeffery/Marshall (twice), Roddy White, Desean Jackson, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Hakeem Nicks, and Cordarrelle Patterson (twice). That is a who’s who of arguably all top-ten-calibre receivers in the past few years. Granted he split the field with Tramon, but those statistics are damn impressive, especially games such as those he had vs. Gordon and Green.

  6. TyKo Steamboat March 8, 2014

    Wow…That’s way too much $cratch

  7. Remedy March 8, 2014

    What the fuck




  8. Pete Rock March 8, 2014

    maybe sam can play D line now too.

  9. Icebowler March 8, 2014

    Now we can move Hyde to Safety and give House another year before he has to take over for Tramon. It also shows our low draft picks and UDFA’s that if you bust your butt and improve exponentially each year, you can break the bank. I don’t think Sam will rest on his laurel’s either. I think there are Pro Bowls in his future. I also think that he has what it takes to be a leader in the locker room.

    1. Savage57 March 10, 2014

      House will be lucky if he even has a roster spot after final cutdowns. The thought of House taking over anything, much less a starting roster spot made me laugh a little, right before I puked in my mouth a little bit.

      You can’t coach slow.

      1. You Enjoy Myself March 11, 2014

        You have no idea how much better he’ll get this off season….

  10. FITZCORE1252 March 8, 2014

    Don’t like it at that cost. For 10 million a year, I’d rather signed Byrd. I’m glad he’s back, i just think Rosenscrote bent Ted over on this one.

  11. Sean March 8, 2014

    People stop freaking out…Cap hit this year will be 5.6 mil…they could sign anybody else they wanted to without blinking an eye.

    1. Kato March 10, 2014


      1. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

        Nope, not wrong. He will make approximately (a little under) $15M in his first TWO seasons. Information gathering and reading comprehension are valuable skills-they can prevent one from making themselves look like an ass, maybe even save your life.

  12. CA March 8, 2014

    Look at that, armchair GM’s chiming in with how stupid this deal was without even knowing the details. His signing bonus is basically the only guaranteed money, around $12.5 Million, it’s also going to make Shields continue play at a high level. The packers could easily cut bait after two years if his play somehow falters essentially getting out without any dead money. The cap hit for this year is only around $5.6 Million.

    Great deal TT. Keep it up.

  13. zippy joe March 8, 2014

    Sean and CA I agree. What was TT supposed to do? Let Shields leave? If he signed ANYONE the AGMs (armchair GMs) would be up in arms. smh. Both Shields and the Packers made out on this deal. It’s a business!! Ted 1, AGMs 0.

  14. TyKo Steamboat March 8, 2014

    Armchair GM’s?

    For that much $cratch, I’d take a D-Bag like Talib.

    Everyone stop mentioning Jarius Byrd…Let dipshit teams like Philly sign what will be the highest paid Safety in the NFL.

    TT is gonna draft Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor & if not, then Louis Nix

  15. GBslacker March 8, 2014

    He may have potential.
    He may not have hit his ceiling.

    But for that kind of money, why not just franchise his ass and see if he can string together two, good years in a row?



    This outfit is just d-r-u-g-g-e-d on their own belief in their own draft-n-development.

  16. Chad Lundberg March 8, 2014

    THIS IS BULLSHIT!!! HE’S NOT EVEN A TOP TEN CORNER! Bye Bye super bowl dynasty!!!


    1. E. Wolf March 8, 2014

      Took the words out of my mouth. I am becoming really pessimistic about things.

      1. Asimov March 8, 2014


        1. E. Wolf March 9, 2014

          Critical thinking is often mistaken for negative thinking. I feel often they are one and the same. It is the power of negative thinking.

  17. FITZCORE1252 March 8, 2014

    I most certainly am not freaking out, and the cap hit is palatable. I do however think that as things currently sit, Sam and Drew look to be on the winning end of this deal.

    Here’s hoping Sam makes Ted look like a genius.

  18. FITZCORE1252 March 8, 2014

    Tyko, I’d give Buchanon a hard look too. He may be a gem.

    1. Vijay March 9, 2014

      Bucannon is a nice hitter and decent in coverage but he gets caught looking in the backfield a lot and can be abused. Jimmy Ward is the better ball hawk (rangy) but needs to get bigger. I guess, I would’ve thought with such a deep corner class in the draft, we might take a guy like Donte Whitner in FA to bring some juice to the safety spot. Now it appears we are going the Micah Hyde route and taking a safety somewhere in the first three rounds hoping to catch lightning. My guess is that they will not target one RD1. I think if BJ Raji does not sign, we need to go hard after Linval Joseph in FA or take the best DT or Speed Guy OLB in RD1. Maybe a TE, ILB Rd2 and then another developmental safety mid rounds with another receiving threat, assuming of course, Hyde is the initial plan at (FS)safety.

  19. Nacho Libre March 8, 2014

    Maybe they should have used some of that $$ to give James Jones a franchise tag…

    1. CA March 9, 2014

      Yep TT should have doled out $12.3 Million dollars for James Jones. Give me a god damn break. Jones was a great [Packer] player but is completely replaceable. Boykin proved that last year. Any money that was even thought about given to Jones should go straight to Cobb and Jordy’s extensions.

    2. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

      And the Assinine Statement of the Year Award goes to…that s unless you were being sarcastic; please say you were being sarcastic.

  20. E. Wolf March 8, 2014

    Add Drew ROSENHAUS to the list of people I want to die by crashing into the back of a tanker truck. Watch Rush if you want an idea of how horriific that is.

  21. tedtomato March 8, 2014

    Not a terrible deal..only about 6 mil cap hit..and backloaded..so they can get out of it..also cap in 2016 is expected to be around 160 mil..so might not look too bad..as long as he stays healthy.

    1. Kato March 10, 2014

      According to ESPN the first year is 15 million guy. DOnt know where you are getting 6 million from.

      1. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

        Frome every other source available, it was a typo and should’ve said “first [two] years”.

  22. jtmax March 8, 2014

    Sam Shields should have been signed to long term extension 2 years ago. He is the fastest DB with best ball skills and you wait till now to sign him to long term? TT is a damn fool.
    Now that we’re low on money and can’t afford FA but still need to plug holes everywhere, sign Pickett and Jolly back for cheap so we can spend our drafts safety, ILB, OLB, Oline.

    1. CA March 9, 2014

      Yep the packers are pretty “low on money” now. That $33 million in cap space went down to a max of $27 million in cap space. It’s fucktard fans like you that make me embarrassed to be associated with packers fans at times. Be grateful we have a GM that knows what he’s doing. He’s made some mistakes in the past sure, but shit could me much much worse. Spoiled god damn fans.

      1. Vijay March 9, 2014

        Are we talking about the Yankees and Bo Sox? Yeah, that’s spoiled.

        1. Iltarion March 9, 2014

          Different sports. No damn comparison.

        2. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

          Yeah, not all Sawx (or Yanks for that matter, but to a significanly lesser extent ;P) fans are spoiled, way to generalize. While we’re stereotyping sports fanbases though, I’d contend that 2 decades of almost nothing but winning and HoF QBs and coach(es) have made Packers fans one of the most spoiled fanbases in all of football, and all sports for that matter. G.O.D. save you when the day comes that we no longer have an organization that consistently put a successful product out on the field, because right now you are supporting (I use that term loosely) an organization that is an incontrovertble paragon of success.

    2. ferris March 9, 2014

      Everyone complains Ted doesn’t do enough and now they say he overpaid. Good thing Raji didn’t take the 8M as well as Greg Jennings and they let Bishop walk thank God, and thank Ted. GB has a team that competes every year AND has cap space to sign players. Everyone needs to stop whining.

  23. Kris March 9, 2014

    It actually only counts for 5.625 towards the 2014 salary cap. 29 left to spend. Turn up.

  24. beardownpackup March 9, 2014

    Nah, CA is right. This deal is great for the Packers. The cap hit is under 6 mil this season and the cap, itself, is supposed to grow by about 8 million next season. We can easily sign whomever thee fuck we choose. If Raji signs then we can focus on FS or ILB if Mosley/Shazier drops in the draft.

    We beg TT to make a big play. He makes a big play. We bitch. Not the way it should be.

    ‘In TT We Trust’

  25. RelampagoBlanco March 9, 2014

    The important question to ask here is if Vijay would have offered this deal to Shields..

    1. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

      Excellent point, White Lightning.

  26. CO Bob March 9, 2014

    As long as Kris is right and only a 5.6m hit…there’s a slight positive here. Like Tramon, Hawk, Finley,..,etc Too many examples of big money wasted. Better than 50% chance this deal is a waste.

  27. jtmax March 9, 2014

    We have to sign Nelson and Cobb to extension so that’s going to eat into our cap space big time CA so go fukkyourself you dumbfukk.

    1. Iltarion March 9, 2014

      No, CA has it right. You are a moron, with your second comment only proving it more than your first.

      The Packers are not “low on money” as you said. And sign Shields two season ago? You mean after his horrendous 2011 season when he refused to tackle anyone?

      Yeah, good call.

  28. Iltarion March 9, 2014

    I am surprised. I did not think that Shields would accept $12.5 million in guaranteed to stay here.

    That is not a huge guarantee for a top free agent looking at probably the biggest contract of his career.

    Yeah, $39M for 4 years seems like a surprising amount of money for the Packers to offer, but most of that money is in the final two years of the contract and isn’t guaranteed. Shields will have to play well to make that money.

    With small cap hits for the next two years, the Packers still have plenty of cap space to sign other free agents and extend Nelson and Cobb.

    In summation, good contract for the Packers and what COULD be a good deal for Shields if he plays well and gets the entire contract.

  29. MadCity Packer Fan March 9, 2014

    I think this was a good move by the Packers. I just hope they get involved in free agency this off season to address other areas mainly on defense. The extensions of Jordy and Randall are important as well. It’s all about making improvements and lets hope that happens!

  30. Phatgzus March 10, 2014

    I’m surprised the Packers offered him that much, about $1M more than I thought he has proven himself worth to the team. Still I’d rather give the money to Shields than Byrd, sorry all of you ornithophiles; good for him and good for us, let’s hope it works out great for all of us.

  31. rebelgb March 10, 2014

    Good deal for Sam, good Deal for the Packers. Now lets sign JN and Cobb and draft some safeties.

  32. venom March 10, 2014

    Is this written by a professional NFL writer? If so I’ll being my laptop and sign up for a job. Sam’s contract only counts for a little over 6 million this year. That leaves the Packers with about 30 million. Plenty to still play ball in free agency. There’s a formula for it involving subtraction of signing bonus amount, etc. If anyone, author included is interested I can give you all the formula. It is NOT as easy as just subtracting his base amount this year from their available cap number. Otherwise this would be the stupidist, fu#kin deal ever!!

  33. venom March 10, 2014

    Which I see most of you smart commentators here already know the formula. Most.