Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead indicated Friday that he is indeed an unrestricted free agent.
In an Instagram post Friday, Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead appeared to clarify that he is now an unrestricted free agent.
Shead wrote: “Having a good time working out this offseason! It’s a blessing to be able to hit this grind healthy. It’s surreal that I’m a free agent but I’m excited to see what the future holds and where I will end up!’’
There had been uncertainty if Shead would be a free agent or if the one-year contract he had signed with Seattle last year would toll — meaning, carry over into 2018 — since he spent all but two games this season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Shead told reporters following the season he was uncertain himself of what his status was and was waiting to find out.
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It sounds as if he found out, giving Seattle would appears to be 16 unrestricted free agents off of its 2017 roster (here’s an earlier breakdown of the Seahawks’ free agents).
Shead’s apparent unrestricted free agency also means the cornerback position has a little more increased uncertainty heading into 2018.
The starting spots appear set as Shaquill Griffin will return for his second season, appearing entrenched for now at right cornerback and Richard Sherman, assuming he makes a full recovery from his Achilles injury, would step back into the left cornerback spot.
But the rest of it remains under a little bit of construction.
Jeremy Lane, a fixture in the secondary since 2012, has been thought unlikely to be back with the team likely to release him and save $11 million against the salary cap over the next seasons.
Byron Maxwell, who returned and started in Sherman’s spot at the end of the season, is an unrestricted free agent. Maxwell said he wants to be back and the team is thought to want him back. But Seattle will have to get that done.
Justin Coleman, who became the starting nickel at midseason, is a restricted free agent. So Seattle can at least control if he comes back.
Neiko Thorpe has another year left on his contract but is on the roster largely for his special teams value.
Also on the roster are Mike Tyson, DeAndre Elliott and Akeem King, the latter two ending the season on Injured Reserve.
Elliott showed promise as a rookie in 2016 before suffering an ankle injury in the preseason finale in 2017 that ended his season. How the team views his recovery and potential role in 2018 could play a factor into some of its other decisions.
As for Shead, while he would undoubtedly welcome returning to Seattle — he came to the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2012 — he also would welcome the chance to get on the market and see what may be out there for him after the bad luck of last season.
Shead was an unrestricted free agent following the 2016 season when the team did not offer him a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent after he suffered an ACL injury in the divisional playoff loss to Atlanta.
But the knee injury gave him few options — it had been thought the Seahawks might try to give him a multi-year extension after he started 15 games in 2016 — and he returned to Seattle on a one-year deal worth up to $1.05 million.
Shead, 28, returned to play special teams in the last two games of the 2017 season, illustrating that he’s healthy. And, apparently, finally in a position to cash in.