After missing 15 regular season games and all of the playoffs, defensive back Sam Shields announced on his Instagram account this morning that he has been released by the Green Bay Packers.
Shields would have been entering the final year of a four year deal that would have paid him $9 million.
Shields missed almost the entire season after sustaining his fifth documented concussion in the opener at Jacksonville.
Shields told reporters after the NFC Championship game loss in Atlanta that he wanted to continue to play, despite his concussion issues. If he does return to the game, it will now most likely be with another team.
Shields is facing charges for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia from an incident at his home in October. He has a hearing scheduled in Brown County Circuit Court this week.
His departure leaves the Packers in need of defensive back help. Without Shields, the Packers relied on Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, as well as undrafted corner LaDarius Gunter. It was Gunter who was asked to cover the opposition’s number-one receiver.
The Packers will save $9 million of a $12 million cap hit in 2017. Whether any of that savings will go towards finding a veteran corner in free agency is an unknown at this point. What is certain is GM Ted Thompson will need to address the position this offseason.