Sam Shields resets the CB market by signing a massive deal to stay in Green Bay : Packers Insider

Sam Shields resets the CB market by signing a massive deal to stay in Green Bay

March 9, 2014 by  
Filed under News

By Chris Burke, CNNSI.com

~Call it informed foreshadowing.

Early Saturday morning, superagent Drew Rosenhaus tweeted: “What a difference a year makes! Free agency will be a lot better this year” — a nod to the chilly receptions players found from thrifty teams last offseason. Proof positive that Rosenhaus may be right about his assessment came just a few hours later when his client, cornerback Sam Shields, inked a four-year, $39 million contract with a $12.5 million signing bonus to stay in Green Bay.

Obviously, that contract is good news for Rosenhaus and Shields, the latter cashing in huge despite having yet to play a full 16 games in his four NFL seasons. Despite the high price tag, it’s a clear positive for the Packers too, who now return their top corner to a deep and improving secondary.

Sam Shields signed a four-year, $39 million contract with a 12.5 million signing bonus to stay with Green Bay. (David Banks/Getty Images)

But it is the other pending free agents, especially in the secondary, who might be viewing Shields’ contract with the widest smiles on their faces. Shields was able to push the envelope on the four-year, $32 million extension Brent Grimes just signed in Miami. At $9.75 million, the average per season on Shields’ deal ranks third in the NFL among cornerbacks, behind only Darrelle Revis ($16 million) and Brandon Carr ($10.02 million).

Shields is certainly a solid corner, and at 26 years old he may only now be entering his prime. But is he a top-three cornerback in this league? If not, how much will his contract impact what’s to come when free agency opens on the 11th?

While Grimes is already back under contract, Alterraun Verner, Aqib Talib, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Vontae Davis are primed to hit the market. Others, like Seattle’s Richard Sherman, will require extensions in the near future. The bump in the league’s salary cap to $133 million for 2014 left plenty of teams with money to spend, and cornerback remains a premium position — especially in light of how decisively Sherman and the Seahawks’ secondary impacted this season. And speaking of Sherman, he was quick to show his approval of the deal:

Always happy for a man getting what he deserves! Congrats @ShieldSam37

 

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