Former Green Bay Packers executive Andrew Brandt is fond of saying that "deadlines spur action."
A person who has seen the contract tells NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport the deal is worth $39 million over four years. NFL Media's Albert Breer adds that Shields received a $12.5 million signing bonus and will collect $21 million over the first two years of the pact.
ProFootballTalk first reported the new contract.
The Packers increased their offer considerably, as Rapoport previously reported the team was offering just $6 million annually.
Shields' contract is a sign that free agents -- particularly at cornerback -- are entering a healthier market than last offseason, now that the salary cap has been increased to $133 million.
Always happy for a man getting what he deserves! Congrats @ShieldSam37â Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 9, 2014
With Shields locked up and Casey Hayward returning from injury, the Packers are deep at cornerback. It will be interesting to see if they move impressive 2013 fifth-round draft pick Micah Hyde to safety.
Now that Shields has passed Tramon Williams as the highest-paid player in the Packers' secondary, hotly pursued Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner should have his sights set on a new contract worth more than $10 million annually.