March 07, 2017

SEATTLE (AP) Cornerback DeShawn Shead and backup linebacker Brock Coyle will not receive qualifying offers from the Seattle Seahawks, meaning both players will become unrestricted free agents when the new league year begins later this week.

Cameron Foster, the agent for both players, said Tuesday that the Seahawks have made the decision not to use the tender option as both players are restricted free agents.

The decision with Shead is surprising after he became Seattle's starting cornerback late in the 2015 season and held the spot throughout 2016 opposite Richard Sherman. The former undrafted free agent out of Portland State played well with 81 tackles, 14 passes defensed and one interception - of New England QB Tom Brady - in the regular season. But he suffered a torn ACL in Seattle's playoff loss to Atlanta in January and that changed the scope of his offseason.

Seattle general manager John Schneider said at the NFL combine last week that Shead could miss a chunk of the 2017 season as he recovers from his injury. Seattle has already signed veteran Parrish Cox to help with depth at cornerback and is expected to be active in a very deep draft class looking to add options at cornerback.

Shead was expected to be part of those plans all along. And he still may be, but Seattle is now opening up the possibility that Shead takes an offer elsewhere.

''It was really unfortunate for the young man. He would be in a different world right now if not for that injury,'' Foster said.

Coyle has spent all three of his seasons with the Seahawks, serving as a fill-in starter and regular on special teams. Coyle has mostly backed up middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, but last year made three starts at strong side linebacker when Mike Morgan was injured. The former undrafted free agent out of Montana has appeared in 35 regular-season games with five starts.

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