As expected, the Seattle Seahawks kept their word and released cornerback DeShawn Shead on Monday to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent once the new league year begins this Wednesday.
The National Football League had ruled that Shead's contract would carry over to 2018 since he spent most of last season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he recovered from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. That meant the team could have kept him for another season under the terms of the deal he signed last year.
But, instead of holding on to him, the Seahawks have decided to let him test free agency this offseason.
"They called me and they said, 'Just giving you a heads up that we're going to release DeShawn on Monday, but that doesn't mean we don't want him. That means we are living up to our word and we're going to release him, otherwise his contract would be required to toll.' So kudos to the Seahawks for doing the right thing. It's them living up to their word, letting DeShawn test the free-agent world, but they have said they'd like to have him come back," Shead's agent, Cameron Foster, said in a recent interview with ESPN.
Of course, it should be noted that the Seahawks are still interested in bringing him back on a new deal. With Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane gone, and Byron Maxwell set to become a free agent, Shead may play significant minutes at cornerback if he opts to return.
As noted by ESPN's Brady Henderson, the Seahawks may even put him at strong safety since Kam Chancellor is still dealing with a career-threatening neck injury.
Shead is scheduled to meet the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers this week, but the Seahawks will also get the chance to convince him to stay.