“I’m sure Green Bay’s working hard trying to figure out a way to keep both of these guys, but to me, keeping the corner that has speed and can cover over a defensive tackle that is pretty much just a guy, that’s a no-brainer,” Devaney said on NFL Insiders, via ESPN.com. “You’ve got to keep the corner.”
Raji and Shields are among the most notable free agents that the Packers will need to decide whether or not to retain in the coming weeks. Green Bay reportedly offered Raji a long-term contract worth $8 million per season several months ago, but he reportedly turned down their offer at the time.
Devaney’s point that the Packers are better off re-signing Shields since he skill set is much harder to replace seems to be more in line with the free agent market than Raji expecting to best the Packers previous offer.
Raji, 27, hasn’t record a single sack since 2011, although that could have something to do with the Packers approach towards their defensive linemen. Even so, it’s not a very marketable stat for a guy who will be looking for a long-term contract in the coming months.
Shields, 26, has developed into a very solid player for the Packers since he went undrafted in 2010. Statistically, Shields’ 2013 season wasn’t off the charts, but he did manage to contribute 61 tackles, four interceptions and 17 passes defensed. According to Pro Football Focus, his catch-allowed rate was 50 percent which ranks as No. 8 in the NFL for qualifying cornerbacks.
We have both players listed in our Top 50 Free Agents list.