The Seahawks have brought back a familiar face to add to their secondary.
The team re-signed versatile defensive back DeShawn Shead and added rookie free agent linebacker Jawaun Johnson to their roster on Saturday.
To clear room on the team's roster, Seattle waived/injured wide receiver Caleb Scott - who had been placed on the non-football injury list for the start of training camp - and placed linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee on injured reserve. Ellerbee appeared to be injured in a collision during the first practice of camp on Thursday.
Shead spent the first six seasons of his career with Seattle after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State in 2012. Initially a safety for the Seahawks, Shead moved to cornerback in 2015 and earned the starting job opposite Richard Sherman late in the season. He would become the full-time starter in 2016, starting 15 games at right cornerback and recording 81 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
Shead signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks for 2017 after an ACL tear in the team's playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons sapped his potential value as a free agent. He started the year on the physically unable to perform list and only appeared in two games for the team in 2017. However, an NFL contract rule kicked in that would have forced Shead's contract to "toll," meaning he would be tethered to the Seahawks roster for 2018 at the same contract value as 2017 due to his lack of games played. Instead, the Seahawks did Shead a favor after six years of service and released him so he could hit the free agent market as both sides had anticipated would happen before the contract ruling.
Shead signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions and appeared in 12 games for the team last year before a knee injury ended his season. He had a workout with the New Orleans Saints earlier this week before re-signing with the Seahawks on Saturday.
Though Shead was more recently a cornerback for Seattle, he may be more of a fit currently at safety. With Lano Hill still on the PUP list following a fractured hip at the end of last season, the Seahawks have more unanswered questions at safety than cornerback. Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers are the presumptive starters on the outside with Akeem King, Jamar Taylor and Kalan Reed among possible options in the slot role. Shead's versatility would give him the flexibility to serve at both spots and as a special teams contributor.
Johnson was a tryout player for the team during their rookie mini-camp in May after going undrafted out of TCU.
Scott signed with Seattle as an undrafted free agent last year out of Vanderbilt and spent the year on the team's practice squad. Ellerbee appeared in four games the Seahawks last season as a special teams contributor. He was injured on Thursday in a collision following a reception from wide receiver Keenan Reynolds.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Defensive back DeShawn Shead #35 of the Seattle Seahawks breaks up a pass intended for Wide receiver Anquan Boldin #80 of the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card game at CenturyLink Field on January 7, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)