In a week that’s seen the Seattle Seahawks cut loose Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane, another veteran member of the secondary is also on his way out, although it’s definitely not for the same reasons as Sherman and Lane.
DeShawn Shead will be let go on Monday, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Shead missed almost all of 2017 after tearing his ACL in Seattle’s divisional round playoff loss to the Falcons, only appearing in the team’s final two games.
This explanation from Henderson should clarify Shead’s contract situation:
Shead’s free-agent status had been in question after he spent all but two games of the past season on the physically unable to perform list while working his way back from a torn ACL. Per the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, that would technically require Shead’s contract to toll, or to roll over to 2018 on the same terms.
The tolling rule applies to players who, in the final season of their contract, remain on PUP as of their team’s sixth regular-season game. As in Shead’s case, that includes players on one-year deals. A restricted free agent last offseason, Shead signed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. So if his contract were to toll, he’d be signed for 2018 at the same amount.
So by releasing Shead, there’s no need to toll the contract, and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. Shead’s agent, Cameron Foster, said that the Seahawks would love to have him back, but are “just living up to their word” by allowing him to explore the free agent market. The Detroit Lions are scheduled to meet with Shead next week.
The 28-year-old Shead is known for his versatility, with experience playing at safety as well as cornerback. When Seattle mercifully pulled the plug on the failed Cary Williams signing in 2015, it was Shead who filled in as the replacement, and he parlayed that into being the full-time starter in 2016.
If you want an idea of how much turnover has happened and continues to happen to the Seahawks secondary, unless one of Shead or Maxwell re-signs with Seattle during free agency, the only defensive backs from the Super Bowl-winning team still on the roster would be Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. That’s it.