It looks like Sam Shields‘ tenure with the Green Bay Packers is set to end.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN is reporting that the Shields, who hasn’t played in a NFL game since Week 1 due to a concussion, will be released by the Packers this March. Shields has suffered from five known concussions in his career, which began back in 2010.
Waiving Shields would take away his $12.1 million cap hit for the 2017 season, giving the Packers more money in free agency to re-sign T.J. Lang, Micah Hyde, Jared Cook, Nick Perry, and Eddie Lacy. It also gives Green Bay the option to be more aggressive in free agency, as they are expected to be this time around.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy revealed to the media at his season ending press conference on Thursday that Shields still hasn’t cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol, and that he couldn’t give a clear answer as to whether or not Shields will be on the Packers in 2017.
Despite not being cleared to play again and his future in Green Bay up in the air, Shields still wants to play in the NFL again, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“I just love the game and I feel like I can get back out there and play,” Shields said. “If not, not. Right now, it’s just day by day.”
Green Bay’s secondary struggled majorly with Shields sidelined, as second-year corners Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins showed the most regression while battling their own injuries. LaDarius Gunter, Makinton Dorleant, Josh Hawkins, Jermaine Whitehead, and Herb Waters were also given increased, and unexpected roles.
Removing Shields from the roster makes adding even more depth at corner a necessity. Teez Tabor, Quincy Wilson, Adoore’ Jackson, and Desmond King are options in the draft, while Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick, Stephon Gilmore, Trumaine Johnson, and Nolan Carroll are among the options in free agency.
For his NFL career, the 29-year-old Shields has 245 total tackles, 66 pass deflections, and 18 interceptions.
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