DeShawn Shead is ready for free agency with new confidence after injury

DeShawn Shead #35 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — The Seahawks plan to release cornerback DeShawn Shead on Monday, his agent told the Seattle Times over the weekend. But the move has nothing to do with the recent purge of veteran defensive players, Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman.

The Seahawks are actually allowing Shead to become an unrestricted free agent, a move meant as a gesture of kindness.

With free agency starting Wednesday, Michelle Ludtka sat down with Shead to talk about his injury and the lessons he learned while being a Hawk.

Fourteen months ago, Shead tore his ACL in a game against the Atlanta Falcons. It took him 10 months to find his way back on the field.

"I couldn’t train the way I wanted to train. I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do because I was coming off that injury," Shead said.

Being injured and going through surgery was all foreign for Shead. "This was my first injury," he told Ludtka with a smile and laugh." My first surgery. I still got my wisdom teeth."

But the recovery process was no laughing matter. In fact, it tested him in ways he’d never been pushed before.

"There were a lot of ups and downs. There are days where I gain and I run faster. I gain more motion, I jump higher but then are will be days where my knee is sore, I don’t have the same motion I had yesterday, the day before and just a down day," Shead explained.

He tried to stay focused, by being around his teammates as much as possible.

"I’m always teaching, I’m always helping and I’m always trying to find ways to stay in it so I don’t feel isolated, not only for the team but also for myself, mentally," Shead said.

But during road games, the 28-year-old couldn’t avoid the isolation.

"That was probably one of the toughest things to be able to be in every meeting, know the game plan, know what the offense is going to run, know what play is going to come, know what run plays and pass plays but to not be on the field," Shead explained.

A big part of that mentality is Shead’s family.  His new baby, Carson was born right as DeShawn came off crutches. It put everything into perspective.

"To be blessed to be able to have this family because a lot of people are not fortunate enough in this world," Shead said. “I try and go back and focus on those little things because every day is not promised, you have to wake up and appreciate the day and appreciate the people around you."

After countless hours, the day finally came.

Shead is gearing up for his 7th year in the league with confidence, strength and a positive outlook.

"The things you have to persevere through, the days that you have to persevere through…don’t take them for granted," Shead said.