When the Seahawks let DeShawn Shead become a free agent last year, rather than tolling his contract as was their right, it seemed like they were just being charitable.
Maybe they were, to some degree, but Pete Carroll also didn’t think Shead was ready to play football.
Shead suffered a torn ACL in the blowout playoff loss in Atlanta to end the 2016 season. Because of that, the Seahawks chose not to tender the restricted free agent in 2017 and instead paid him $1.2 million to rehab almost all season. He got into a couple of games at the end but still apparently was not back to 100 percent in March 2018.
That at least partly explains why the Seahawks chose not to toll his contract, letting him become a free agent. He ended up signing with Detroit for $3.5 million.
Shead had gone unsigned this year until the Seahawks brought him back last week. He set the wheels in motion for that deal back in May at Cliff Avril’s retirement party, when he talked to Carroll about bringing him back.
“I was pleading my case: ‘I would love to be back here. Out of the other 31 teams, I would definitely love the opportunity to be here,'” Shead told The News Tribune. “(I) just let him know that I am healthy, I am ready to roll.”
It took lingering injuries to Lano Hill and Marquise Blair for Carroll to make the call last week.
“That was my opportunity to come in and show you, rather than just tell you (the knee was healthy),” he said. “I had a great workout. I was able to move. They can’t tell even if there was an injury, which (one) was the injured leg.”
Carroll told 710 ESPN: “We worked him out a year ago before he signed with Detroit, and I didn’t feel like he was back from the knee surgery that he had (undergone). … The DeShawn Shead that I knew, I didn’t see that. The other day we worked him out and he looked great.
“Now he’s ready to compete, so I’m excited for him, because he’s a great team member. If he can make the club this year and find a role, we’ll be better.”
Said Shead: “I didn’t want to just come back. I wanted to show them that I could come back and be a player that can go out there and help this team anywhere on this defense.”