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Defense Might Be Thrown For Early Loss

Shields (Wesley Hitt - Getty Images)

A defense that needs to take several steps forward might be taking a big step back if it loses Sam Shields in free agency. Shields, who was easily the secondary's most productive player last season, should be a building block for a rebuilding defense.

Here is the challenge facing Green Bay Packers Ted Thompson: His task for the short term is to make the necessary adjustments to a team that has gone from Super Bowl champion to 15-1, 11-5 and 8-7-1. His task for the long term is to keep his team among the championship contenders on an annual basis. And therein likes Thompson's dilemma with cornerback Sam Shields. If the goal is to win a...

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