As always, the Green Bay Packers are taking their time with contract negotiations, but it is hurting their preseason preparations, as Sam Shields, signed on a restricted free agent tender, was missing from OTAs until now and is still looking for that long term deal.

Entering his fourth NFL season, Shields missed the first of the OTAs until the Packers sat down with him and his agent, getting him to sign his restricted free agent tender worth $2.02 million, which was after the Packers put a second-round draft pick price on his head entering the free agency period (Shields came in undrafted in 2010).

Sam Shields

What does this mean? That he’ll have to show up to mini-camp, but that it doesn’t mean he’s going to like it. Shields has done a good job over the last three seasons, which includes nine interceptions, but he’s far from a shutdown corner who effects the game drastically on every play.

And the Packers, who have had their share of defensive and especially secondary problems, are possibly looking to keep away from players they don’t think can be major contributors in the long term. Shields is good, but good doesn’t always cut it for teams with high aspirations, and not really in the mood of spending a lot of money on someone they’re not completely sure of.

Casey Hayward did a good job for the team in 2012 as a rookie, and his rise may mean that the Packers aren’t in any kind of rush to patch things up with Shields, and maybe even let him play out his contract before making any kind of long-term, potentially expensive decision regarding his future with the team.

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