Kam Chancellor appears ready to extend his hold out into the regular season
ESPN’s Josina Anderson, who courted some controversy a year ago after a report on Michael Sam’s showering habits, has recently taken to fighting Kam Chancellor’s corner as his holdout lingers without any sign of ending.
On August 7th Anderson wrote a report on Facebook that felt more like a press release from Chancellor’s agent. It went into great detail about his salary and what he was seemingly asking the Seahawks to do. She noted the QBR rating of opposing quarterbacks facing Seattle without Chancellor. She noted how many snaps he’d played since 2010.
Anderson even offered the following opinion:
My impression of Chancellor is that he’s a man of principal who gives his life path a lot of thought and meditation, and that he’s methodical about his options.
Today she appeared on the Brock and Salk show to discuss the situation. The two hosts very graciously credited her with “owning” the story while she again proceeded to do Chancellor’s bidding.
It was a slightly difficult and not altogether neutral view of the situation.
It’s nothing compared to the difficult position Seahawks fans find themselves in when considering this impasse.
You won’t find a single fan with a bad thing to say about Kam Chancellor. Not only is he a tremendous strong safety, he’s everything a working fan wants to see on their team. A physical, uncompromising style. A tone-setting force. That enviable chess-piece every other team wishes they had. He seems to always play his best football in the post-season — and the regular season stuff isn’t half bad either. He’ll play hurt, play for his team mates and lead by example.
And yet increasingly fans are starting to question the motives of this highly respected member of the LOB.
Football might be a business to the players. It’s true that teams will cast individuals aside with little care or second thought. Yet to the fans it’s just a game. A release from the mundanity of everyday life. And when they see multi-millionaire’s going on strike because they want even more money — it’s hard to understand.
The players argue they put their bodies on the line every Sunday for 16 weeks a year for entertainment. That might be the case — but what about the guy who works 12-hour shifts on a building site for an annual salary less than the amount Kam Chancellor is willing to give up in fines for missing one day of training camp?
Is that guy not equally putting his body on the line? Is he allowed to sign a contract and then not turn up when he decides he wants more money?
How can he be expected to see Chancellor’s side of the story on this situation?
If he holds-out into the regular season, he’ll be throwing millions of dollars ($1M in fines and $4.45M in 2015 guaranteed money) down the drain. And for what? He’s still contracted to the Seahawks until 2017. He’d have to show up in week 10 to record an accrued season, otherwise he’d be under contract until the end of 2018. If he plays the last six games does he hold out again next year? And the year after?
By the time he hits free agency he’d be 30 years old, having wasted millions in salary and potential fines. Is a 30-year-old Chancellor going to command a massive new contract on the open market? Or would he just be wasting a ton of cash, the best years of his career and an opportunity to lead this team to another Championship or two — cementing his legacy as one of Seattle’s all-time greats?
Granted he probably senses that at age 30 he’ll be close to the end of his career. The time to earn is now, during his peak. It’s just too bad he already signed the coveted second-contract. He and his agent made their bed — now they must sleep in it. The Seahawks showed a ton of faith to reward Chancellor early with a handsome contract. Should they now be punished because the market has flipped in their favour?
This seems to be at the heart of the hold-out. Chancellor has to play the ‘I’m irreplaceable’ card. He has no other play to make if he wants more money today. The only way he can prove he’s irreplaceable is to miss games with the hope the team struggles in his absence. As a fan, how can you begin to understand that stance? It’s the only leverage he has.
He has to force the Seahawks to act, otherwise they won’t. Why would they? If they buckle for Chancellor they have to deal with Michael Bennett next year. Or Richard Sherman. Or Earl Thomas.
And isn’t that the beauty of this roster? It’s not reliant on one player on either side of the ball in the way Houston relies on J.J. Watt or Green Bay Aaron Rodgers. Losing Chancellor would be a blow — but you’ve still got Bennett, Mebane, Avril, Irvin, Clark, Wagner, Wright, Sherman, Thomas, Williams and others.
Would the Seahawks panic in week six if one of their key players suffered an injury? Did they panic when they lost Mebane last year? Of course not. It’s next man up. And it’ll almost certainly be that way if Chancellor prolongs his hold out into the regular season.
As things stand they have $5m in free cap space. Unfortunately that’s really -$1m as around $6m is required for the 52nd/53rd player on the roster, Injured Reserve and the practise squad. So they really don’t have the cap space to give Chancellor a pay increase.
Anderson’s point regarding signing-bonus conversion is all well and good — but why should the Seahawks make that move? They know full well they’ll be setting a bad precedent for any other player who wants to pull a similar stunt in the future. Chancellor and his agent signed the deal. Now they’re trying to force the Seahawks into a move they don’t have to make.
This stand-off doesn’t appear to be benefiting anyone other than Josina Anderson’s Facebook page.
Adam Schefter reaffirms Anderson’s note that Chancellor is willing to hold out during the regular season.
The report on Evan Mathis is intriguing. Is it an attempt by the Mathis camp to jump start his market? It reads like a ‘come and get me’ plea. After all, he’s supposedly asking for a handsome salary (he wanted more than $5.5m a year from the Eagles) — and as we noted in the piece, Seattle has almost no cap room to play with.
Alternatively — do the Seahawks have to find a way to slot Mathis into the roster? Even if it means sacrificing another player? The offensive line is clearly a concern. Mathis is a tried and tested guard and would instantly upgrade the unit (albeit as merely a stopgap).
At the moment it’s just a visit he might not even make.