The Seattle Seahawks brought back a familiar face over the weekend, signing defensive back DeShawn Shead to a one-year deal on Saturday. Shead spent six seasons with Seattle from 2012-17.
“It feels good to be back. I was telling everybody I’m back home,” Shead said. “Just to be back, a lot of familiar faces, but a lot of faces I don’t know, it’s a whole new team. But still the same feeling of being in Seattle, so definitely happy to be back on the team.”
Shead, at one point a starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman, had an unfortunate ending to his first tenure with the Seahawks. He tore his ACL in a playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons in January 2017.
The injury limited him to just two games in 2017, and Seattle parted ways with Shead the following offseason. Shead added that it wasn’t until late in 2018 when he was with the Detroit Lions that he felt he was finally turning the corner.
“I feel night and day better,” Shead said. “From even over a year ago. And this offseason I actually got to train instead of rehab. There’s a big difference.”
Shead remained unsigned this offseason as camps opened throughout the league. He had a workout with the Saints last Tuesday before flying to Seattle for a workout on Saturday.
The Seahawks loved what they saw from the veteran defensive back and signed him immediately.
“He came out here on the field the other day and he looked great, he looked as good as he’s ever looked,” Pete Carroll said. “Quick and strong and fit and in shape. He brings us the versatility of playing safety and corner. He can play in the nickel package, (and) he’s an excellent special teams player.
“Better than that he’s a great competitor, and to have that guy battling here with our young guys and show them what it’s all about will only make us better.”
Shead originally signed with the Seahawks in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State. He spent that season and the bulk of 2013 on the practice squad before making his NFL debut. Shead was with the club through 2017, appearing in 54 games (22 starts) with 150 total tackles and two interceptions.
He’ll play safety during training camp as the Seahawks are still without the injured Lano Hill and Marquise Blair. Shead will vie for a spot on the 53-man roster, and, given his clean bill of health and experience in Seattle’s defense, he hopes to push Tedric Thompson and Bradley McDougald for playing time.
“I don’t think twice about my knee, my breaks, in and out of breaks, I’m more elusive, my speed is back,” Shead said. “Now it’s just putting it back on the field.”