Shead, 29, had been dealing with strained quadriceps throughout training camp, which forced him to miss two preseason games. He played a lot in the finale against Cleveland on Thursday, and said he did so because he wanted to get ready for the start of the regular season.
"I want to make sure we give [Shead] a good opportunity to go out and compete and look at him in a couple different positions and situations," Lions coach Matt Patricia said Thursday night. "You know, we actually moved him around different positions defensively. I would say special teams-wise, there were some things in there we really wanted to get a good evaluation of with him that we haven't had the opportunity to do yet. So that was good to see him go out and do those things."
Less than 48 hours later, the Lions released Shead.
Cutting Shead saves Detroit $1,631,250 against the salary cap this year, but he had $1.5 million guaranteed to him when he signed as a free agent after leaving Seattle.
He was brought in to compete with Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor for the starting corner spot opposite Darius Slay, and he took first-team reps there throughout the spring and early part of camp. The quad injury, though, gave Lawson the chance to get first-team reps and Shead never seemed to regain momentum.
Shead has 154 career tackles and 24 passes defended in his career. He was a full-time starter for the Seahawks in 2015.