Shoring up the pass rush and finding help for the walking-wounded defensive secondary are highest on the list of priorities for the Green Bay Packers next fall.
To that end, the Packers brass will spend much of the offseason perusing the landscape in hopes of tracking down the next Reggie White or Charles Woodson.
Among others in the injury-riddled defensive backfield, the fate of cornerback Sam Shields hangs in question.
Shields, signed by the Packers in 2010, missed almost all of this past season after suffering a concussion in the opening-day win at Jacksonville. It was the fourth concussion for Shields, who has 18 career interceptions and is scheduled to make $9 million next season, the final year of his current 4-year contract.
Should the Packers opt to cut him loose, they will free up considerable salary-cap space. Understandably, the 29-year-old Shields, who has started in 62 of the 80 games he has played, wants to stay on.