Negotiations between the Packers and Sam Shields‘ agent on a new agreement for the free agent cornerback “heated up” over the weekend in Indianapolis, reports Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. According to Demovsky, Green Bay and agent Drew Rosenhaus met in the hopes of working out a deal for Shields prior to the free agent period of March 11.
While the two sides didn’t reach an agreement this weekend, they still have more than two weeks before free agency begins, and discussions are “ongoing,” says Demovsky. We first heard nearly a month ago that talks were underway between Shields’ camp and the Packers — at the time, a source told Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the odds of a deal were about 50/50, but it seems they may have improved at least a little since then.
Shields started all 14 games he played for the Packers in 2013, matching a career high with four interceptions. Although the 26-year-old ranked in the middle of the pack for cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), he placed 15th overall in 2012. Coming off a modest $2.023MM salary, he’ll be in line for a significant raise, with estimates this month ranging from about $7-9MM per year.
If the Packers can’t reach a long-term agreement with Shields, using the franchise tag on him is a possibility. However, that would eat up more than $11MM of the team’s 2014 cap space.