Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields helped get the Packers off on the right foot in free agency. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Where do the Green Bay Packers go if Sam Shields leaves?


Well, Sam Shields could be out the door.

So what is the backup plan? As we have been going through the best free agents and their possible fit, I thought going through some of the castoffs may be an interesting thought. At this point, even a bridge player (until another Shields is unearthed) would be a good thing. Maybe there is an Al Harris to be found.

1. Cortland Finnegan

Released by the St. Louis Rams, Finnegan is an interesting case. In his first year he was a Pro Bowler, second year he was inconsistent, and last year he was downright awful. Finnegan was simply torched in coverage. He just turned 30, so there is a risk. But if Finnegan could recapture his old form he would be worth the risk, as he is one of the most physical and nasty corners in the league.

2. Champ Bailey

This one does not intrigue me as much. While Bailey has played well for a long time for the Denver Broncos, this seems to be the end of the road for him. Bailey is 36 years old, so you wonder what is in the tank. A change of scenery might do him some good on the right team, and maybe Dom Capers can milk that last bit of talent Bailey has had his entire career. Veteran leadership is needed on this defense.

3. Jabari Greer/Asante Samuel

I could not decide between them, so I had to go with both. They are similar in the sense they both dealt with injuries which could change their careers. Greer is possibly the best player on this list, a cap casualty by the New Orleans Saints, but an ACL injury at the ripe age of 32 could make for a tough recovery. Still, if he can be in any way the player he was, kick the tires.

Samuel is an interesting case because he is in decline, but adding in a thigh injury makes you wonder even more. Samuel was a favorite of the Atlanta Falcons. He is a ballhawk, which is something this defense could use. But is it worth the irritation Samuel causes when he blows a coverage going for the big play?

Bonus – Brandon Browner

I know he is not a cap casualty like this article deals with, but he is a different case than the normal free agent. This one could be the good one. Browner would be a good pickup because the Packers need physicality on defense and in their secondary. Browner represents all of that. However, due to a groin pull and his suspension we did not see much of part 4 of the “Legion of Boom” last year on the Seattle Seahawks. Can he be what he was in 2012 on another team? Browner is the player I would take that risk on.

Who would you go after? Leave a comment.

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Tags: Asante Samuel Brandon Browner Champ Bailey Cortland Finnegan Jabari Greer Sam Shields

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