Although the Green Bay Packers are extremely interested in keeping cornerback Sam Shields with them, his financial demands might be too much for them to handle, giving the Cleveland Browns an opportunity to sign the player.
The Packers have been trying to lock up Shields with a long term contract before free agency begins (on March 11), but haven’t really come close to doing so. He made $2.02 million last season, his fourth in the NFL, and is looking for something close to a $7-8 million per-season contract, which is going to be troublesome for the Packers to give him.
There is always the option of using the franchise tag on him, but the Packers, who are limited in cap space and have other big re-signings they want to make, will need to pay him $11.834 million for a one-year deal if they’re to us the franchise tender.
The Browns have a pro bowl cornerback in Joe Haden and in general did good defensively last season. That didn’t stop them from blowing everything up and once again hiring new coaches across the board, which means a new system and new things to learn for players. In any case, they’re very much interested in adding someone like Shields on board, who caught four interceptions in what was his best season. His biggest moment came in the huge comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys in week 15 with his big fourth quarter interception off of Tony Romo.
Shields has been in the NFL since 2010, coming into the league as an undrafted rookie out of Miami. He has played 53 times (missing at least a game each season) since becoming an NFL player, coming up with a total of 14 interceptions and 43 passes disturbed. He also finished with a career high 61 tackles last season, 51 of them solo.