Since early in the 2016 season, we have been speculating that cornerback Sam Shields’ days as a member of the Green Bay Packers were numbered. Shields didn’t play again after suffering his fifth concussion in week 1.
Our take was he would have to retire.
Packers’ beat writer Rob Demovsky is now pushing the theory that the Packers will made the decision for Shields by releasing him.
That does make some sense. Despite his injury history, it’s going to be hard for Shields to walk away from the $9 million he would earn next season.
If that’s the case, the Packers’ hand could be forced. They surely will be reluctant to continue sending a player out there with Shields’ concussion history. Releasing him would also provide a financial benefit. While they would eat $3.125 million in dead money, the overall savings involved with releasing Shields would create an additional $9 million in cap room. Shields’ 2017 cap number is $12.125 million.
Also working against Shields is his recent marijuana arrest. That will likely result in an NFL suspension, not that the Packers are unaccustomed to those…
However it happens, we’ve probably seen the last of Shields in a Packers uniform.
That then raises the question of how the Packers will adapt in the secondary. We wouldn’t be surprised if they drafted another cornerback early on in the draft after the dreadful play of both Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in 2016.