Now, he wants to be considered a top cornerback.
"Pro Bowl. That's the next thing this year," Shields, speaking for the first time since signing a four-year, $39 million contract during free agency, said after Tuesday's organized team activity. "Pro Bowl, get it done."
With big money comes big responsibility and bigger expectations. Shields, an undrafted free agent in 2010, played wide receiver for most of his career at Miami before switching to cornerback as a senior. Shields won the No. 3 cornerback job as a rookie and played a key role as the Packers won the Super Bowl.
Still, with that limited background on defense, Shields for most of his professional career has been seen as a player with a lot of upside but plenty to learn.
While that's still true, the mega-bucks contract means pressure to play like a seasoned pro on a weekly basis.
"Sam is definitely one of the players you consider one of your guys," coach Mike McCarthy said. "When you have a chance to have a young player, watch him develop, sign a second contract, I think that's huge, I think that is the pattern that shows how we operate and something I'd like to continue to do. You're always happy on a personal note when you see a young man like Sam (with) where he started and what he was able to achieve with his financial opportunity. The reality of it is Sam is now looked on as one of our core players. So, he'll step up and play accordingly."
That is Shields' intention.
"It's like I tell everybody, it's just the beginning", Shields said. "Like I said, I'm going to keep continuing to work my butt off, make plays and hopefully down the line get another one. It's just the beginning."