Any worries about Sam Shields holding out were put to rest when the fourth-year cornerback signed his restricted free agent tender Monday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Packers CB Sam Shields just signed his RFA tender for $2.023 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 3, 2013
The one-year deal is worth $2.023 million for the 2013 season.
Now, the 25-year-old Shields can return to the practice field—the Packers have offseason minicamps starting Tuesday—while still working on the potential long-term deal he covets.
An undrafted free-agent signing out of the University of Miami in 2010, Shields has developed into an asset in the Packers secondary.
Over 10 regular-season games and eight starts in 2012, Shields intercepted three passes and defensed 10 others. Few cornerbacks in the NFL were better than Shields to end last season.
From Week 14 to the Division Round loss in San Francisco, Shields was targeted 32 times but allowed just 12 completions. He intercepted four passes and defended seven others. His six-game grade at Pro Football Focus was +14.0, or the best among cornerbacks during that time span.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) June 3, 2013
Overall, Shields finished 2012 as PFF’s No. 6 overall cornerback (over all games).
Shields had skipped the start of the Packers offseason workout schedule in hopes of leveraging a long-term deal. Agent Drew Rosenhaus was in Green Bay Monday to help negotiate such an agreement, but nothing came of his meeting with Packers management. The two sides will likely continue working on a deal that keeps Shields in Green Bay past 2013.
Shields would become an unrestricted free agent next spring if no deal is struck before now and then.
Working against Shields is the fact that the Packers are deeper at cornerback than arguably any other position. He may need to win a starting job and then play well next season before the Packers are ready to re-open the bank on a new deal.
Shields has nine interceptions over three NFL seasons in Green Bay.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.