Not only were the Seahawks eliminated from the postseason this evening, but one of their key defenders might have suffered a serious injury. Head coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com (Twitter link) and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link) that cornerback DeShawn Shead is dealing with a “significant” knee injury, and Seattle fears Shead may have torn his ACL.
Clearly, Shead’s injury doesn’t have implications for the Seahawks for the rest of the 2016 campaign given that their season is now over, although a standard nine-month recovery period would put Shead’s availability for the beginning of the 2017 season in doubt. More pressing, however, is how the injury affects Shead’s contract status, especially given that he’ll be a restricted free agent this spring.
Given that Shead played 85% of Seattle’s defensive snaps and graded out as the league’s No. 43 cornerback (per Pro Football Focus), the Seahawks presumably would have placed a first-round tender on Shead in order to ward off other clubs’ interest. Such a tender would have paid Shead something in the neighborhood of $4MM. Now, with Shead rehabbing from a serious knee injury, Seattle will likely only need to use the right of first refusal tender (worth around $2MM), and could conceivably negotiate Shead’s price down even further from there.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.