During the offseason, the Green Bay Packers hitched their wagon to Sam Shields, giving him a four-year deal worth $39 million.
It will be a long time before another Packers cornerback is paid as much as Shields. He's the future at the position on defense.
Tramon Williams, Jarrett Bush and Davon House, meanwhile, might be the past. Their time in Green Bay isn't over yet, but all three of them enter the final season of their respective contracts, and none of them are guaranteed to return beyond 2014.
Williams and Bush represent the Old Guard, both members of the Super Bowl XLV team in Green Bay and neither no longer on the sunny side of 30 years old. Bush enters his ninth season in the NFL in 2014. Williams, his eighth.
No, the professional football careers of Williams and Bush may not come to a close in 2014, but neither is going to make as much in the next contract as they earned in the previous one.
If either Williams or Bush sign another contract with the Packers, it'll be a short-term deal.
Whether or not that happens is a matter for the future. For the time being, they're in the fold for the season at hand, perhaps their Swan Song in Titletown.
The Packers can hope Williams and Bush will perhaps be motivated by the opportunity to be a part of a championship-caliber team in the same way that tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher were in 2010.
Williams is the incumbent starter opposite Shields, which doesn't figure to change.
After playing strong down the stretch last season with four interceptions in the last eight games (including playoffs), Williams showed he may have finally put his shoulder injury from 2011 behind him and is still very capable of making a big-time impact.
For Bush, it's status quo. Despite his shining moment last season when he broke up a pass and later intercepted another intended for future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez in a win over the Atlanta Falcons, Bush will likely only see spot duty on defense.
The role for Bush, same as its been the past several years, will be special teams demon: the guy gunning down returners and downing punts inside the five-yard line.
The situation for House, however, is different. At just 24 years old and entering his fourth year in the NFL, House is in the final year of his rookie contract.
Potentially, House can play a big role in Green Bay for seasons to come, but he's going to have to earn it.
Up to now, the former fourth round draft choice has done little in his first three years in the NFL, intercepting just one pass. But House is coming off his best season as a professional. For the first time in his career, he played in all 16 games, breaking up 10 passes and grabbing his lone interception.
With Williams' future also uncertain, the Packers could be looking for a starter in 2015 and beyond. House has as good an opportunity as anyone to become an eventual starter, especially on the perimeter of the field, although Casey Hayward and new sixth round draft choice Demetri Goodson will have a say as well.
The futures of Williams, Bush and House probably won't be determined until next offseason. But how they perform in 2014 will likely play a large part in what the Packers decide to do at cornerback.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email email@example.com.
- Like Like
- 14 points