With a refurbishing of their secondary coming, the Green Bay Packers have cut cornerback Sam Shields.
Lost in a late-season charge to a playoff spot was the struggles of the Green Bay Packers defense. They finished the regular season 31st in the league against the pass (269 yards per game) with 32 passing touchdowns allowed (tied for third-most in the league). In the playoffs, the Packers then allowed a total of 694 passing yards and seven touchdowns through the air to Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan.
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Cornerback Sam Shields suffered a concussion in Week 1, and he did not play the rest of the season. As of late January he still had not been medically cleared, and he also admitted to suffering occasional headaches.
Shields has said he wants to keep playing after two concussions in a short window of games played, but all signs pointed toward the Packers cutting him this offseason. On Wednesday morning, the move was made.
The Packers will avoid Shields’ $8 million salary for 2017 by cutting him, which should help them find some reinforcements for their secondary. But they will retain a salary cap charge of $3.125 million, due to the remainder of his signing bonus from the four-year deal he signed in 2014.
Shields also suffered a concussion in Week 14 of the 2015 regular season, and he has five documented concussions over seven NFL seasons. At age-29 it might be wise to call it a career with that history of head injuries, but assuming he is eventually cleared medically Shields will surely get interest from cornerback-needy teams.
In January, Shields was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia stemming from an incident at his home in October. That could also hang over him as he hits the open market, but unless something previously unknown comes to the surface in court Shields’ concussion history should be the bigger deal for any interested teams.