GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packer players will have their first mandatory practice today - and that was enough to get Sam Shields back in the fold.
The fourth-year corner signed a one-year tender offer of just over two-million dollars yesterday. Shields was a restricted free agent, and he returns to heavy competition for the corner spot opposite Tramon Williams. Shields will be up against second-year pro Casey Hayward, who led the Packers with six interceptions a year ago. Davon House is also in the mix, along with veteran Jarrett Bush and perhaps rookie Micah Hyde from Iowa. Shields sat out the voluntary organized team activities the past two weeks.
Today, the Packers move into their mandatory mini-camp. There are public practices the next two days just across the street from Lambeau. The team will have a private function on Thursday.
The Packers apparently want to see how much B.J. Raji improves before giving him a long-term deal. NFL Network said yesterday that the Packers will make the fifth-year nose tackle play out the final season of his rookie contract. There had been talk that GM Ted Thompson would reward Raji with a long-term deal at the same time that Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews got big extensions. Last week, Raji said he did more workouts in the off-season to do a better job of shedding offensive line blockers in 2013. Raji did not have a sack last year. He has 10-and-a-half sacks in his four-year career, along with 112 total tackles.