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Recently extended Shields' next goal? Pro Bowl

Jun. 10, 2014
 
Shields had a career year in 2013 with 61 tackles, four interceptions and 16 deflections in 14 games. H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media
Shields had a career year in 2013 with 61 tackles, four interceptions and 16 deflections in 14 games. H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media

Sam Shields wasn’t always certain he’d end up back with the Green Bay Packers, but it’s the outcome the 26-year-old cornerback was hoping for in his first turn with unrestricted free agency.

Although negotiations went into the 11th-hour, the Packers and the former undrafted free agent agreed on a four-year, $39 million extension the weekend before the start of free agency in March.

“Most of the time I was scared, because like I said I wanted to be a Packer,” Shields said. “You know how that business goes. It’s kind of scary at first, but they came with it. I’m happy to be back.”

GALLERY: Packers OTA practice, June 10

One of Shields’ first purchases was a house for his mom, who he said fainted when she received the news of his contract. There was also an emotional meeting with his position coach Joe Whitt, whom he considers a father figure and the man responsible for turning him into a starting caliber cornerback in the NFL.

“That was his job, he said. ‘Just getting you paid,’” Shields recalled. “When I came up here, I went to his office and we talked. He almost cried, but he didn’t. I seen it. He was happy for me, though.”

Shields had a career year in 2013 with 61 tackles, four interceptions and 16 deflections in 14 games, but it wasn’t always that way. When he first signed with the Packers, he had his doubts whether or not he could make it in the NFL.

“I thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Shields said. “You know, when I first got here, I didn’t know the difference. It was frustrating. ‘Man, it’s not for me.’ Like I said, I stuck in there, I kept working. I got it right. Joe Whitt made little card things for me, and I learned the defense. It’s been good.”

Shields still believes his best days in football are yet to come. Teammate Davon House agreed, saying Shields could play “15 more years” if he stays healthy given his speed and only being five years removed from playing receiver.

He’s already won a Super Bowl and earned a lucrative extension. So what’s next?

“Pro Bowl. That’s the next thing this year,” Shields said. “Pro Bowl, get it done. That’d be some good achievements right there. Like I said, if I keep one day at a time and keep doing what I’ve been doing, it’ll work out.”

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