Seahawks free agent cornerback DeShawn Shead is taking a visit to Buffalo, according to a league source, as he sorts out his options.
Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead, who became an unrestricted free agent when the team did not tender him a qualifying offer, will take a trip to Buffalo, a league source confirmed Wednesday night. ESPN first reported Shead’s visit.
The visit will be the first of the free agent period for Shead, who was not tendered by the Seahawks due to an ACL injury he suffered in the divisional playoff loss at Atlanta that makes it unclear when he will be able to play next season. Seattle GM John Schneider said at the Combine two weeks ago that Shead may not be ready until “late” into the season.
The Seahawks have made Shead an offer but he is exploring options with as many as six teams thought interested in potentially signing him.
The sticking point will be his knee, and Buffalo is bringing him in for the visit in large part to take their own look at his injury and assess when he might be ready.
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If Seattle had tendered Shead then he would have made roughly $1.8 million next year, assuming he wasn’t released before the season. Seattle’s new offer is undoubtedly much less than that with the team uncertain how much he will be able to play.
Shead started 15 games at right cornerback last season and appeared in line for potentially getting a significant contract from the Seahawks before suffering the injury.
Seattle on Tuesday re-signed unrestricted free agent Neiko Thorpe, who moved into a regular role in the secondary when Shead was injured last year (Shead sat out one game with a hamstring injury).
When Shead was out, Jeremy Lane moved from the nickelback spot to Shead’s right corner spot in the base defense. Thorpe moved into the defense in the nickel defense as the left corner with Lane moving to the nickel.
Shead has been with the Seahawks since 2012 and has started 22 games over the past three seasons.
The Seahawks also signed veteran free agent Perrish Cox, who could be used at inside or outside corner and maybe safety, and could also look to a draft viewed as especially strong in cornerbacks to add depth and competition there.
The Sacramento Bee also reported on Wednesday that the Seahawks could be interested in free agent cornerback Marcus Cromartie, a fourth-year vet who has played both cornerback and safety for the 49ers and also was a regular on many special teams in 2016.