Rumor: Browns to host cornerback Sam Shields for a visit
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns need help at cornerback, but the team can do better than former Green Bay Packer cornerback Sam Shields.
The Cleveland Browns are expected to be on the lookout for some veteran help when free agency opens on March 14, and one name to keep an eye on is cornerback Sam Shields.
Shields was a member of the Green Bay Packers from 2010 through 2016. He started the season opener in 2016 for the Packers, but suffered a concussion that sidelined him for the rest of that season. It was his fifth documented concussion and the Packers eventually played him on injured reserve before releasing him following the season.
Shields spent last season out of football and now, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, wants to make a return to the NFL and has the Browns on his list of teams to visit:
It is not a surprise that the Browns and Shields would be linked as assistant general manager Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith were members of Green Bay’s front office while Shields was with the Packers.
The question, however, is do the Browns really have interest in Smith or is this just a courtesy to a former player?
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Shields made 62 starts with the Packers, totaling 18 interceptions and 67 passes defensed, and making the Pro Bowl in 2014.
However, he was also arrested in October of 2016 in Green Bay on charges of marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Shields pleaded no contest to the marijuana charge and the paraphernalia charge was ultimately dropped.
The NFL suspended him for two games as result of the incident, but since he was injured he never served the suspension and there is some question over whether or not it is still valid, according to Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There is also the question of Shields’ health. It may have been two years since his last concussion, but the fact that it knocked him out for an entire season is not something to be taken lightly. And while he told Cohen that he is not coming back to the league for financial reasons, Shields did concede that if he suffers another concussion he will retire for good.
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The Browns can definitely use some help at the cornerback position, but relying on a 30-year-old with a lengthy history of concussions to fill the void seems like a risk not worth taking for the team.