Why the Kam Chancellor hold out could go beyond week 2

August 27th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Kam Chancellor’s hold out shows no signs of ending

With no sign of the stalemate ending, here’s a couple of quick thoughts on the situation. Having gone this far it really doesn’t benefit Chancellor to report for the first two games unless the Seahawks make an attractive offer. St. Louis and Green Bay on the road — two tough games — have the potential to strengthen his position. An 0-2 Seahawks team would be under pressure to end the holdout. Alternatively, if they win both or go 1-1, Chancellor won’t have much to gain by holding out any further heading into a stretch of winnable games.

How key would Chancellor be in weeks 1-2?

The Rams are traditionally slow starters. They’re 1-7 in season openers over the last eight years, with many of those games at home. They lost 34-6 to the Vikings at home last season. Their win came in 2013 — a tight victory against Arizona. They’re also 2-1 in home games against the Seahawks in the last three years — and that probably should be 3-0. Seattle really struggled in their 2013 victory and were lucky to escape with a win.

Many will focus on the battle between St. Louis’ fearsome defensive line and Seattle’s inexperienced O-line. It could be a red-herring. The Seahawks won in St. Louis in 2013 with Paul McQuistan and Michael Bowie playing tackle. Last year Russell Wilson was reasonably well protected and made several big plays. Seattle often plays sloppy in St. Louis and that might be the greater key to winning the game. They’ve allowed momentum-shifting big plays and too many special teams gaffes. Cut those out and they have a good chance to win the opener.

The Rams used a dink-and-dunk passing game to great effect last year against the Seahawks. Kam Chancellor played but was far from 100% healthy. It’s harder to run endless crossing routes with a big imposing strong safety ready to deliver a hit over the middle. Even so, it’s hard to imagine the difference between a win and a loss being Chancellor’s presence in the secondary. It really comes down to the Seahawks playing a much cleaner game in St. Louis.

Green Bay are the type of opponent where you just want everyone available because they’re a really good team. It’s hard enough to win in Lambeau without any avoidable absentee’s. However, there’s one big key for the Seahawks that doesn’t involve Chancellor.

Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers were kryptonite to the Packers. Dom Capers’ defense is well organised but very orthodox. Despite many attempts they never got to grips with Colin Kaepernick running the read-option. San Francisco and Harbaugh went 4-0 against this Packers team:

2013 playoffs — 49ers win 23-20 @ Lambeau
2013 regular season — 49ers win 34-28 @ Candlestick
2012 playoffs — 49ers win 45-31 @ Candlestick
2012 regular season — 49ers win 30-22 @ Lambeau

In the 2012 playoff game, Kaepernick passed for 263 yards and ran for 181. In the 2013 playoff game he passed for 227 and ran for 98 yards. He passed for 412 yards in the 2013 regular season game.

The Packers had no answer.

In fairness they didn’t have much answer for Seattle’s trickery in week one last year either. In the NFC Championship game — without Percy Harvin and with an unusually low-key game plan — Green Bay found a way to impact Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks didn’t run the ball and Wilson was under constant duress working from the pocket. If they learn from that experience, they’ll use a lot more of the Lynch-Wilson combo with the read-option. They need to be somewhat creative. Capers’ defense isn’t the best when adapting to the unknown.

Aaron Rodgers will still score points in the game and while you’d rather have Chancellor play — again it probably isn’t the deciding factor. Seattle’s ability to limit the damage on defense and keep scoring on offense will be important. In 2012 they sacked Rodgers eight times in a half and shut down the Packers offense. This could be a night for the newly dangerous D-line rather than anyone in the secondary.

For those reasons it might be worth the Seahawks maintaining their position a little while longer. Admittedly that doesn’t account for the loss of leadership. Chancellor is clearly more than just an imposing strong safety — he’s a vital part of the locker room and his return would no doubt provide the entire team with a huge lift. That’s a loss the Seahawks will have to suffer if they maintain their understandable hardline stance on the hold out.

Both parties can make a case for waiting until after week two to assess their options. If the Seahawks go 2-0 with two tough road wins minus Chancellor, what leverage does he have? If they go 0-2, there will be intense pressure to get Chancellor back on the field with a heavier wallet.

70 Responses to “Why the Kam Chancellor hold out could go beyond week 2”

  1. sdcoug says:

    Will definitely be interesting to see how this all plays out. But as I previously posted, I truly think Kam will be back regardless if/when the Hawks just sit tight. Guess it just depends if it’s before Week 1, after Week 2, etc…

    1) He stands to lose millions this season in fines/lost salary; the same money he is holding out for.

    2) No player ever increased their future value by missing an entire year.

    3) the narrative doesn’t even change next season as the Hawks still own his rights. Sit now, you’re still sitting then

    • arias says:

      It’s true that players don’t increase value by sitting out an entire year, which is why it doesn’t happen. But they will occasionally hold out until week 10 when they absolutely need to return to accrue an additional year of having played off their contract.

      So what’s the tally for players that hold out that long? That’s debatable, but it worked out for Joey Galloway where he forced a trade to Dallas where he promptly awarded with the fat contract he wanted before suffering his ACL tear that forced him into mediocrity the following couple years until he was traded to Tampa to revive his career.

      But in fairness, that trade worked out for both sides since Jerry Jones gave up two first round picks for him.

      I don’t think JS would trade Kam this year because of the 1.8 mil dead money cap hit penalty. But, if he decides Kam is currently at his peak trade value as a player because of a higher future risk of injury and has a trade partner willing to rip up his contract and reward him like Jerry rewarded Galloway … it could happen.

      For instance, if JS was offered two first rounders for Kam you’ve got to think he’d take that instantly.

  2. Volume12 says:

    Interesting read, ecspecially the GB vs SF bit.

    Also, while our somewhat inexperienced O-line faces the Rams vaunted D-line, their breaking in 3 rookie starters going against as you’ve previously discussed, perhaps a shifting strength on our D and that’s the D-line.

    And as far as the Bam Bam holdout is concerned. Maybe I’m off base here, but I just have a feeling Seattle is going topay the man somehow, someway. Your right, his leadership and presence is invaluable, and I have to believe the rest of the locker room knows that as well.

  3. cha says:

    Laconfora wrote a great article on how this could affect the rest of the league.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/jason-la-canfora/25282020/will-seahawks-blink-first-as-kam-chancellor-holds-out-nfl-execs-hope-not

    It never occurred to me that some agents might actually be rooting for the Hawks to stand tough. But it makes sense – then there’s a lot more pressure on agents to get their unhappy clients out of 3 contract years when they think they’re underpaid.

    • Coug1990 says:

      I thought a lot of it was just hyperbole. He writes that the Seahawks have always blinked and given into the player that holds out. Once, just once did they do that and even then, it was more gesture to Marshawn Lynch than actually giving into him.

      So, his entire premise is not really correct.

      • Hawk Dove says:

        With respect, arguing the particulars of how many times (or whether) the Seahawks have caved in the past matters. The important question is if LaCanfora accurately captures the perception of the Lynch treatment. I can’t answer that, but I don’t think that whatever happened last year with Marshawn is helping. From the outset, Seattle has tried mightily to claim that Marshawn isn’t a precedent. It seems to be too much protesting.

      • arias says:

        Actually they did it more than once. They quietly renegotiated Chris Clemons contract during 2012. Reports were he was threatening holding out during camp but they were able to nip it in the bud without too much publicity.

        And they also gave Browner more money prior to the 2013 season beginning. That wasn’t portrayed in the press as a renegotiation, just as the Seahawks bequeathing him more money. But I got the sense there had been some behind the scenes negotiation that preceded that and the Seahawks agreed to increase his salary but wanted to portray it as one sided.

        You can kind of be sure the players are aware of the true story behind whether that was a renegotiation or the team being generous. But with with Clemons, Browner, and Lynch IMO the team really has to hold firm now with their backs against the wall with Kam.

  4. cha says:

    Rob, just for the sake of discussion, where would you peg Chancellor’s trade value as at this point?

    A 2nd round pick in 2016 plus a conditional 2017 pick?

    • Trevor says:

      Jags need leadership and a Strong Safety as Cyprien has been a bust. If Gus does not turn thing around this year he is on the hot seat. I say Kam to the Jags for a #1 2016 and try to get Wisnewski while you are at it to solidify Center position.

      I dont think the Jags would do it but they have a need and the cap space to give him a raise if I am PC /JS and I trully believe in Bailey I am on the phone right now.

      I just dont see any win / win in this situation only loose/loose.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not that high.

      He’s 28 next April and has been banged up. He wants a large new contract. Teams generally don’t trade for strong safety’s. And the dead money on the cap for this year makes any kind of deal really unappealing for the Seahawks. This is win now — they don’t need an extra second rounder for another rookie next year at the expense of a star player. This is their championship window right now.

      • Trevor says:

        Agree 100% but what if he does not report as threatened do you move him in the off season?

        Also is anyone else surprised how little public support there is for him room his team mates. Except for a lame tweet by Irvin and a couple of comments by Bennett everyone else seems to be towing the company line. Not like when Marshawn held out last year. Seems like the players know this was a horrible decision too.

        • sdcoug says:

          you let him sit for the next 3 year. Kam won’t sacrifice the rest of his career

        • Rob Staton says:

          He has to report by week 10 to avoid the issue of not counting an accrued season. If he wants to play six games a year for the next three years and ruin his career, I’d consider letting him.

  5. Ely says:

    Against the Rams I want the personnel to be almost exclusively double TE sets with Mathews out wide in the first quarter. The hawks will need to run the ball and dink and dunk themselves while they test out this new line against the first real test of the season. The Rams have solid MLB’s but I believe that with our two TE’s and Mathews there will be battles that can be won on sheer height advantages which is something the Hawks have never had. I don’t know that the Rams offense scares me even if we only have Sherman and Cary Williams (no Thomas) in the backfield. I think our front seven eats Foles alive. With the Packers I think you are spot on Rob a little un-conventionalism on offense with the pass rush on full force. You hate to see players get injured especially in pre-season but no Jordy Nelson is a huge blow to the Packers offense even though they always have receivers step up. Like you said I don’ t believe Kam is instrumental in either of these games. Hopefully he ends before then though.

    • Volume12 says:

      If our O-line can give RW just a little bit of time, he should be able to pick their CBs apart.

      Don’t be surprised if Simon becomes the starter opposite Sherm. When he was healthy, not only was he effective, oposing teams QBR was awful. This is year 3 for him. Maxi and WT3 balled out in their third year too.

      • Ely says:

        Agree with you on Simon Volume 12. He got a bad rap playing hurt last year. Especially in the SB he can’t be expected to cover a short shifty receiver like Edelman. For whatever reason I have no faith in Cary Williams. Hope he proves me wrong.

        • Volume12 says:

          Yeah. It’d be like tying one arm behind your back and not expecting it to limit your range of motion or ability to press/bump and run.

          I don’t think Cary will be great, but I don’t think he’ll be awful either. They could mix and match him and Simon depending on the opponet.

  6. Trevor says:

    Rob who do you think is the Hawks main competition in the NFC West? Arizona or STL? I am glad we are getting STL week #1 by the way.

    • Volume12 says:

      The team staring back at them in the mirror.

      • Trevor says:

        You might be right! If the Rams are not much improved with the # of high picks they have had the last 3 years then they need a new staff. I always thought Fischer was over rated.

        • Volume12 says:

          Fischer’s philosphy says to me, ‘quantity over quality.’ He seems to think 2 good players are better than 1 great player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they’ll be fairly similar. Arizona to take a step back defensively without Todd Bowles but to take a good step forward offensively if Palmer stays healthy. They will play tough but ultimately have good and bad spells in the season as they have done the last two years. I’m not a Nick Foles fan but if he can manage the offense and if Todd Gurley gets healthy the Rams can be better than they have been for a while. They have the same old problems though. No really good offensive X-factors and a mediocre QB.

  7. LooseSasquatch says:

    I love Kam, he’s my favorite player on the defense and the only one whose jersey I bought. I really want him on the field, but I don’t care if they go 0-16: they should not budge one inch on Kam’s contract other than maybe agreeing to not fine him.

    I’m sorry, but they were good to Kam and gave him a great deal earlier than they had to and possibly than he deserved. You don’t get to set the market and then get cranky when the next guy gets more money, and holding out will not give you what you want. . .

    • Trevor says:

      I think everyone agrees with you except Kam, his agent and maybe Micheal Bennet.

    • Coug1990 says:

      I bought one jersey this offseason, “31”. He is my favorite player on the defense as well. But, players come and go. I am a Seahawk fan more than I am a fan of any player. I would like to see him come back in soon, but if he doesn’t, next man up.

      • Miles says:

        I remember when Kam was first re-signed, there was a guy on this blog who was complaining about the amount of money Kam got because he had a bad year the previous year. He said Kam gave up big plays and couldn’t cover well.

        The next year, Kam goes out and has a great year.

        All that to say: When Kam was down on his luck, the Seahawks picked him up. And now that Kam in only the 2nd highest-paid safety, he’s doing more the opposite. I’m not one to get mad at guys for wanting more money, but the Hawks really went out on a limb for Kam when most teams probably would have either shown him the door or shown him a mediocre contract. That contract is not mediocre; he should probably honor it.

        I respect that Kam laid down his body and helped this team be great, but there’s a lot of other guys who have done that. And most of them are not spouting off. There’s people working their behinds off teaching kids for, like, 10 dollars an hour, doing something admirable with their lives, sacrificing, and they make things work. Kam can’t make things work with $4.5 mil? That’s more than most people have ever seen or ever will.

        I’m probably being too hard on him, but I just don’t sympathize for millionaires when they say they don’t have enough money.

        • redzone086 says:

          Im just recalling Chris Clements and his hard work and dedication to this team. He should atleast retire a Hawk.

  8. Steele says:

    The team has no choice but to assume he sits out the season, deep into it at least. The team’s leverage is Bailey, etc. and the LOB not missing a beat. Kam’s only leverage comes when the team loses regular season games because of a problem at strong safety and in the locker room. Serious dents in either scenario causes the blink, and not before.

  9. Old but Slow says:

    With the great size/speed combo in KPL, might we see occasional 4 LB sets with KPL playing Kam’s role?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s unlikely but it would be intriguing to see. I think KPL is going to get a LOT of game time health permitting, probably at the expense of a now heavier Bruce Irvin.

      • Volume12 says:

        I agree about KPL getting a lot of reps. He stays healthy, we’re looking at our future SAM IMO.

        • Coug1990 says:

          I think KPL would be the starter at WIL with KJ moving back to SAM. Just an opinion.

          • WNE says:

            I agree. KPL is the ideal size and has the speed to play outstanding at WIL. I have always believed that of the three linebacker positions, KJ is best at the SAM.

      • Ely says:

        Rob you seem very down about Irvin’s weight gain. All reports I’ve read from camp are nothing but positive on this front. Are you worried he becomes slower or more of an injury risk? It would be intriguing to see KPL play an in the box safety role.

      • Nathan says:

        I noticed a few 3-4 formation v the chiefs.

        Would KPL maybe sub in for Wright or Wagner on obvious passing downs with his closing speed?

        • rowdy says:

          Wright makes his money on passing downs, possibly the best coverage lb in the game. No way they take him out on passing downs.

  10. rowdy says:

    One thing I haven’t heard about with the kam holdout is injury risk. I’ve notice a lot of long holdouts end with the player tearing ligaments shortly after returning. Like Gurley did last year. I believe their bodies just aren’t ready to start hitting after sitting out of action so long. I also believe the hawks could sit him a couple weeks if he did return right before the season started. I don’t get why kam chose to hold out so long unless he knows the end is near for hom.

    • Steele says:

      Not only injury risk, but the risk of Kam being out of shape and not up to speed on what new wrinkles Richard has added to the schemes. The season is already somewhat compromised (relative to how things would be with everyone on board and in camp).

      • Volume12 says:

        Thought I read somewhere that said Kam has watched every practice, has been giving the young guys/rookies tips and pointers, and has all the new wrinkles and whatnot uploaded to his Surface tablet.

        I’d like to think that he’s staying in shape. I wouldn’t bet on him just sitting around.

  11. Ho Lee Chit says:

    It is a no win situation for Chancellor. If they go 0-2 without him, he may be blamed by the media, fans, team and front office, poisoning the well permanently. If they go 2-0 without him, suddenly the team finds they can afford to move him for draft picks somewhere else.

    • peter says:

      This nails my sentiments almost exactly. I wonder how Bailey will look playing with Sherman/Thomas/Simon(?) in regular season games. Seems he’s already acquitting himself well without those pieces. frankly I can not fathom why Kam didn’t take a longer view before deciding this course of action. I’ve mentioned it before but doing a hold out with all these late round guys is pretty ballsy not realizing you are potentially an injury or in Kam’s case a holdout away from being WT3 and getting replaced by your back up if they play as well as you or at least near enough to let him sit.

  12. CharlietheUnicorn says:

    I think it is a no win situation for both Bam bam and the Seahawks. Both sides will “look” bad.. and both sides might have done damage to a potential #1 seed and playoff seeding in general for Seattle.

    I’m also very concerned that Bam Bam could come in to play with very little training camp time…. which could prove to be disastrous for his health this season. He has been knicked up in the past and lack of training camp could be very detrimental to him.

    The sad thing is…. both sides are right and wrong in this situation. Bam Bam is most likely underpaid and the Seahawks are not able to redo everyones deal every year. Like I said…. lose lose

    • peter says:

      Really? Both sides. Seattle didn’t hold out. Kam did. And Kam is the second highest paid SS in the league calling his contract a blessing from god two years ago. So after more injuries and age a recently extremely generous contract is underpaid…. From a team that regularly throws out the final year of contracts to do extensions? Which for him would have been two more seasons. But he feels he deserves more money….if Seattle backs down they expect to do this a couple of times every season from here on out.

      As for players whining about getting cut/non guaranteed contracts….as a union man that’s there union and that’s on them no one else. Not the teams. Not the CBA….their own reps and their own collective ability to holdout.

      • Coug1990 says:

        I agree with everything in your post. Kam is not underpaid relative to his position, strong safety. Just like when Jimmy Graham wanted to be considered a WR (WR’s are paid more than TE’s) when he was in negotiations with NO, there was a compromise, but he lost because he is a TE.

        Kam is not a free safety which gets paid premium, but he wants to be paid like one. It just does not work that way.

        I do wonder if/when Kam comes back this year, if it will be his last in Seattle much like Graham was traded a year later.

  13. rowdy says:

    The injury aspect worries me too. If he does come back I could the seahawks holding him out a couple weeks or really limiting his snaps.

  14. Volume12 says:

    Off topic, but I saw Pittsburgh WR Martavis Bryant was suspended 4 games. Meaning he’s failed how many drug tests in a year? Ya think Seattle did their homework on this guy or what?

    • Trevor says:

      Yeah I saw that. I was kind of pissed they passed on him but I guess they knew something. 4 games is not huge but it hurts Pitt and he is a test away from a year long ban.

      Wonder how long it takes for one of the Cowboys gambles to blow up?

      • Volume12 says:

        They haven’t gambled anymore than we have. Maybe this year in particular.

        And for what it’s worth Randy Gregory doesn’t look too bad.

    • nomad says:

      seattle is obviously the last possible franchise that can talk junk at any other team for its personnel evaluations vis-a-vis the 2014 WR class.

  15. CA says:

    I think Kam returns before week 1. No sources, just going with the gut. I think he comes back with a chip, doesn’t want to miss playing with his squad. However, not sure if pete starts him.

  16. JL says:

    What are your thoughts on KPL playing strong safety? He’s got 4.4 speed and he could fill in the death backer position until Kam ends his holdout. That way KPL and Bruce can be on the field at the same time

  17. Ed says:

    The Hawks are good enough without The Big Chance to win the division, even if he holds out 10 weeks. He won’t risk the year, his teammates will be bitter, but he will come in for the final stretch and playoffs and we go to the SB again. Next year we trade him for a second because although he will be missed, next man up (Bailey) will show enough with Sherman and Thomas to allow him to be traded.

  18. Phil says:

    Kam’s holdout just doesn’t make sense and when something doesn’t make sense, I start searching for answers. When was the last time that the Seahawks did a physical on Kam? Could he be sitting out because he is injured and he wants to heal before he reports and has to take a physical? How about PED testing? When a player doesn’t report, does he still get tested as frequently as an active player? What is happening in Kam’s personal life? Are there any serious illnesses in his family? Any signs of marital or legal problems?

    I don’t have answers to these questions, but something just doesn’t feel right about the situation.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      We have seen the team bend over backwards in the past to help guys with medical issues or off field issues. If it was any of the above I believe they would address it with the player and not let the fan base believe it is a dispute over money.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree something has to be up because no agent could have possibly recommended this holdout and he attended OTAs which does not make sense if he planned to hold out. Something has to be up!

      If not it is the stupidest holdout in the history of pro sports. He got an early extension that set the Strong Safety market at the time. Now with 3 years left on the deal he wants and extension from a team that has $0 cap space.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I wonder also. Since he didn’t show up for training camp, when was the last time he had a thorough medical checkup? I would have come to the team practices if I were him. Just seems odd.

      Even if he is healthy, if he comes back mid-season it will take a couple weeks training to get into semi game shape.

      The whole situation is odd. I wonder if the team guaranteed his entire salary if that would bring him back? Otherwise it seems like the rookie safeties are playing well and they are certainly a lot cheaper.

      • Volume12 says:

        Ronald Martin was a fantastic player at LSU. I was surprised he wasn’t drafted in the 5th-7th round range. There’s some grest competition going on between him and S Dion Bailey.

        They’ll miss Kam no doubt, but one of those 2 will be huge for us.

      • Steele says:

        In frustration, we search for underlying causes. It could be as simple as what it seems. He wants the money. Just as Bennett wants the money. You may think it is out of character for Kam, but only he knows what he wants.

  19. Belgaron says:

    The schedule doesn’t have the slightest impact on “negotiations” for the contract as signed. They won’t be giving a new deal to anyone with 3 years left, period. They will continue to say no in the nicest way possible and may be willing to not fine him.

  20. Steele says:

    Is there any starting safety in the NFL who would be a legitimate one-for-one trade for Kam, an immediate starter who would bring most of the same skills? Can you think anyone?

    Trading him for only draft picks is a losing proposition that may (if they are first rounders, and if they pick right) result in benefits for the future. But I think the window for a Super Bowl is “right now”, and that is what Kam is using as leverage. Dion Bailey/Shead are doing well, but they are not Kam.

    • Phil says:

      I wondered if the Seahawks were going to go after Taylor Mays ….. moot point now.

    • Volume12 says:

      Maybe SD S Eric Weddle? He doesn’t seem too happy either.

      • Steele says:

        Not a lot of comparable players out there. I was thinking Weddle also, but not quite. Bernard Pollard is still unsigned and available for the enforcer part. He’s 30, a one year fill in type. He wants to go back to the Ravens. I don’t expect a lot of you would entertain that thought.

    • Volume12 says:

      I agree that they’ll feel the hole left by Kam, and as much as I like Bailey and Martin, your right, neither is Bam Bam.

      Not sure why they seem to prefer Shead at S over CB. He’s shown more at corner than he ever has at safety.

      • Belgaron says:

        Don’t assume Kam won’t start game 1, that ship has not yet sailed.

        Shead’s versatility will be key as a backup. Early pre-season is the opportunity to get him reps.

    • onrsry says:

      If they consider trade him in the future, i don’t think getting draft picks will be adequate. In my opinion, that type of trade can only be made for a player of similar level(or at least a proven player who they can use in their system). And it should be different position.Thats more logically. You won’t give julio and take demaryius.It’s meaningless.Even if you think one of them better than other.So if SEA give Kam to another team, they will want the other team’s ”Kam” but why they will be eager to do that? Keeping your own player makes more sense. But if you give them Kam and want their ”not like Kam but in the future he can be” player, maybe you agree to terms.A player who wants less money but playing good.You see that player is a rookie or a second year who have probowl potential.Lesean mccoy for Kiko Alonso(and i think this is very smart of chip kelly).

      Today, i dont know why but i thought ”Kam for danny shelton,Kam for leonard williams,Kam for Kelvin Benjamin(like Kiko alonso injured for 2nd season)”.It sounds weird.I know.