With news over the weekend that Sam Shields would not come to a long-term contract extension with the Packers before the start of free agency, Green Bay has until 3:00 p.m. CT on Monday to decide whether to place a franchise or transition tag on the cornerback.
Since stopping negotiations with agent Drew Rosenhaus, the Packers likely have had or will have conversations about using the transition tag on Shields, worth approximately $10.1 million for one year.
By using the transition tag, the Packers would be on the hook for a one-year guaranteed deal should Shields choose to accept it, but it also wouldn't prevent Shields from negotiating with other teams.
The transition tag gives the Packers the right to match any offer another team makes to Shields. They can choose to match it if they think it fits within their budget, or they choose to let Shields walk and still collect a potential compensatory draft choice.
The franchise tag would seem even more unlikely because of its higher price tag (roughly $11.8 million) and no team would likely even negotiate with Shields given they'd have to give up two first round draft choices to sign him.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Packers were offering Shields a deal averaging less than $6 million annually, which is reportedly what he was seeking per a report from Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In placing the transition tag on Shields, teams may be wary of signing Shields potentially knowing that they're just doing the work of the Packers to negotiate the deal only to see it matched.
The most likely scenario involves Shields not being tagged at all, which wouldn't necessarily preclude him from re-signing with Green Bay.
Green Bay does hold exclusive negotiating rights until March 8, but it appears Shields wants to hit the open market to find out if a bidding war takes place.
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