Previously expected to start for the Seattle Seahawks, cornerback Dontae Johnson will now have a chance to contribute elsewhere this season.
As reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Seahawks will release Johnson from injured reserve, allowing him immediately sign with any other team.
Johnson, who signed a one-year deal with Seattle in March, missed the first half of training camp recovering from a broken foot. With Byron Maxwell already sidelined, the Seahawks expected to start Johnson across from Shaquill Griffin in the regular season opener in Denver, but he suffered a hip injury during practice. Listed as questionable to play, the team surprisingly placed him on injured reserve, leaving him on the shelf for a minimum of eight weeks.
Without the services of Maxwell or Johnson, Seattle has started rookie Tre Flowers and veteran reserve Akeem King as the second cornerback during the team's first three games. Flowers has registered 14 tackles and two passes defensed, while King played admirably in his spot start against the Bears with six tackles.
His injury being minor in nature, Pelissero tweeted that Johnson was fully recovered and with no guarantee Seattle would have activated him once he became eligible to return after Week 9, he sought an opportunity to play for another team. The Seahawks obliged through an arranged injury settlement.
Johnson, 26, should have plenty of suitors on the free agent market, as the 6-foot-2 defender started all 16 games for the 49ers last season. Teams seeking experienced help in the secondary won't find a better option at this point in the season.