Shead signed through 2018, according to CBA

“Counting down the days ’til I’m back with my brothers” — DeShawn Shead

With Richard Sherman out for the season, DeShawn Shead’s potential return comes at just the right time. And it raises an interesting scenario, too.

Even though Shead suffered a torn ACL in his contract year last season, the Seahawks re-signed him — giving him $1.2 million (with $850,000 guaranteed) to basically rehab this season, with the hope he might return in time to help them during their playoff run.

While Shead’s comment seems to indicate he expects to play this season, Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN on Monday that Shead has “hit a bit of a plateau” in his recovery and is not quite ready to practice. He has to begin practice by Nov. 21 and be activated by Week 15 or else go on injured reserve.

Assuming he returns, he seems likely to figure into the mix by the time the playoffs start — possibly even starting at Sherman’s left corner spot, opposite standout rookie Shaquill Griffin.

Seattle’s patience with Shead’s recovery could pay off in 2018 as well.

Per the CBA, a player on PUP who is in the final year of his contract and “is still physically unable to perform his football services as of the sixth regular-season game” will have his contract tolled (i.e., rolled over to the next year).

PUP contract toll

Shead has been sidelined on PUP all season, unable to practice, so the Seahawks should have him under contract at the same rate in 2018, per the CBA. That would give Seattle a great fallback in case Sherman’s recovery from his Achilles injury lingers into next season.

Despite the very clear text in the CBA, there apparently are conflicting opinions on how tolling PUP players works. Teddy Bridgewater’s high-profile situation might resolve that.

It’s possible the Seahawks weren’t considering the tolling clause when they re-signed Shead or, knowing PUP was likely, wrote the contract to allow him to become a free agent anyway. But, barring a clause negating tolling, the CBA makes it clear they have the right to keep him at the same rate for another (healthy) season.

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