Free agency is fast approaching in the NFL, and with all of the cap space the Cleveland Browns have, they are expected to be big buyers in 2014. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports already mentioned one person who the Browns could be in the market for: Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields:
With Packers having difficulty locking up CB Sam Shields prior to market opening, I'd expect the Browns to be among his chief suitors— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 1, 2014
If Browns get Sam Shields, he will be Frank Minnifield to Haden's Hanford Dixon.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) March 1, 2014
There are 31 other teams in the NFL, so without there being an obvious connection (i.e. a former coach) to Shields in Cleveland, it seems a little peculiar that La Canfora would specifically single out the Browns to be one of his chief suitors. Shields came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2010, but quickly rose to a starting role, accumulating 35 starts over the past four years, including 14 starts in 2013.
Shields was tendered by the Packers last season as a restricted free agent, meaning he played on a 1-year deal worth $2.023 million. Shields had been negoiating with the Packers, but multiple reports now say he will test the free agent market. A little over a week ago, reports surfaced about the type of deal Shields might be seeking:
According to reports, #Packers CB Sam Shields looks to land a four-year, $22.4 million contract this offseason http://t.co/oANRexsiBI— Acme Packing Company (@acmepackingco) February 23, 2014
Packers fans believe that he's worth more than that.
The Browns missed out on CB Brent Grimes in free agency last year and ended up going with CB Chris Owens instead. That didn't work out very well, as Owens was released late into the season. A combination of CB Joe Haden, CB Buster Skrine, and Shields would sound pretty nice, though.