Technically, not a UFA. This would require a trade:
I mentioned him a couple months back on SDB, and I think now more than ever, his availability has to be presumed and not suspected.
Cleveland moved from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Sheard is a quick 260 lb 4-3 end. They had hoped to move him to OLB when the new staff arrived.
2 months later the browns pulled the trigger on Barkevious Mingo at #6 overall. Basically, it's Sheard or Mingo at this point, since the other OLB is pretty set. If you're Cleveland, you don't make that pick on an OLB unless you have a sizable man crush. Because there were plenty of prospects available there where Cleveland could have traded out and taken a different OLB or fill another need.
Cleveland just sunk 11M/yr on their left OLB (Paul Kruger). So there are 3 OLBs and only 2 OLB spots.
Sheard is a very productive player who possesses the size and speed to actually be a long term LEO. He's also right in that Schneider/Carroll 'love his age' zone as he'll be 24 this month. Not unlike Miller, Rice and Harvin -- he's right at that 24-25 years that they typically love to pick guys up.
Sheard was a guy I'd hoped we would trade for instead of Avril. He's a guy who is well suited to succeed Clemons and to be productive for a good 4-6 years after that. Assuming Avril does end up playing SAM on passing downs a lot -- there isn't that much of a conflict between them.
It could take a 2014 #2 to get him. Or Seattle could wait on him and maybe get him for a #4 and change. His availability is worth keeping an eye on as the offseason rolls on. IMO, he is a much superior version of Avril who doesn't completely compromise our run defense as Avril does.