Conversations continue between Packers, CB Sam Shields

Green Bay --- In our chat yesterday, many of you asked about the status of free agent cornerback Sam Shields. Didn't get into it too much then, so figured I'd share here.

One source indicated recently that the two sides have been in regular contact and that the Packers do want to re-sign the 26-year-old, but also considered his return "50/50."

So in other words, nothing new here yet. As free agency in March nears, talks will likely carry more substance.

The Packers have several unrestricted free agents this off-season, including Shields, B.J. Raji, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Jermichael Finley, Ryan Pickett, Mike Neal and John Kuhn.

Shields has experienced his ups and downs since breaking onto the scene as an undrafted rookie in 2010, but may be one of the top young corners in the game. His tackling has steadily improved since a porous 2011 season and he often matched up on the opponent's top wideout last season.

Position coach Joe Whitt Jr. regards Shields a "top 10" cornerback in the NFL. In Shields and Tramon Williams could field two corners in their prime within a division that features Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings and Alshon Jeffery.

A year ago, the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Shields finished with 61 tackles (51 solo), 17 pass break-ups and four interceptions. Including the postseason, he has 17 picks in four seasons. Still, Shields has battled his share of injuries, missing eight games the last two seasons. He left Green Bay's 23-20 loss to San Francisco with a bone bruise.

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