Kam Chancellor has agreed a new contract

This is the most important news the Seahawks could deliver at the start of training camp.

Kam Chancellor isn’t just a key part of the defense, a dominating strong safety and a physical tone-setter. He’s the nearest thing this league has to a Ray Lewis figure. A player who commands respect, can inspire a team by his mere presence on the field or in the locker room and personify the identity of an entire roster.

Don’t take my word for it.

“They (Patriots) think Michael Bennett is their best defensive player. I tend to think Kam Chancellor is the difference maker on that defense.”

Matt Hasselbeck on ESPN 710 before Seattle’s win in New england (listen here)

Keeping him happy, keeping him under contract — this was absolutely crucial.

There’s a reason why people like Matt Hasselbeck view him as the defensive MVP on the team. His ability to organise, be an intimidating force over the middle and contribute vs the run is unmatched in the NFL. There is only one player like Kam Chancellor. There’s unlikely to be another any time soon — he is unique.

He’s also a highly underrated playmaker. Just think of the many vital, critical plays he’s made in the last two and a bit years alone:

— Punching the ball out at the one-yard line vs Detroit in 2015, turning a probable loss into a win in a split second

— Forcing Adrian Peterson to fumble in the 2015 playoff game vs Minnesota — the subsequent drive led to a touchdown and a lead Seattle never surrendered

— Defending Rob Gronkowski on the final play in New England, matching up 1v1 in coverage against one of the best in the league and defending the pass

— Forcing Julian Edelman to fumble the ball at midfield and giving Seattle’s offense a chance to claim a winning seven point advantage on the next possession

— The pick-six against Carolina in the 2014 playoffs, sealing a vital victory in a game also known for Chancellor leaping over the LOS to try and block a field goal

This doesn’t account for all the other plays he made earlier in his career, such as the unforgettable hits of Vernon Davis or his inspired Super Bowl performance against Denver.

Here’s his influence summed up in one short video:

Team mates and fans alike will rejoice at today’s news.

The deal appears comparable to Reshad Jones’ in Miami. An average of $12m a year. At a time when Brandon Linder is earning $10m in Jacksonville, this seems perfectly fair.

The 2017 season starts in the best possible way.

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  1. lil'stink

    I’m over the moon about this news. I really thought Kam might not be back next year. That he couldn’t let go of all the bitterness from his holdout (even though it was kind of all his fault) and that it would push him to test the FA market.

    The dollar amount of the deal shows that the front office was obviously determined to not let Kam walk, and they deserve credit for that. His leadership is irreplaceable, a trait that was on display numerous times last year. He is the alpha dog on a team of alpha dogs. Can’t wait for the day when Chancellor 31 is in the team’s ring of honor.

  2. Ghost Mutt

    I’m sure there’ll be a lot of pearl-clutching at the size of the contract (particularly) the guarantees, but completely agree with you Rob – this was essential.

    Everyone on the roster will be cheering this; there’s nobody they respect more than Kam. Locking him up means keeping a dominating force in the middle of the field, and a veteran leader in the locker room.

  3. Aaron

    You said it perfectly Rob, Kam is pur Ray Lewis. While his play will diminish over time and he will likely continue to miss games because of his playing style, his presence is second to none. I’m so excited that he’s staying a Seahawk for the near future. Have to wonder though if we can keep both Graham and Britt after this newest contract. Does the $12mil/yr begin this year or next? What was his cap hit before this? I think we can tag Graham, but Britt will be hard to keep, especially if he’s Pro Bowl or All Pro status this year. But Bam Bam is here to stay, and that’s great news! Go Hawks!!!

    • Shadow

      It’s $12M/year average but when the details come out I’m betting the base salaries are pretty heavily backloaded into the final year of a deal that he won’t see. It won’t be a $12M cap hit each year, in any case. His cap hit was already pretty high for 2017 ($7-$8M if I remember correctly) so this will probably give us a little cap relief in 2017, or at least be revenue neutral for this season.

      • Myfanwy365

        Ray Lewis without the preachy bullshit is a great comparison

    • Hawkfan086

      Now he must stay healthy…

  4. Shadow

    Sounds like a win-win for both sides. I’m glad he finally got his money and this whole saga has been put to bed for good.

  5. AlaskaHawk

    Good news indeed, one of our critical defensive components.

  6. Coleslaw

    Great news. The days of $10M/year contracts seems to be fading, I think this is a really good price considering the rising caps and contracts.

    Now get Britt or Graham done hopefully!

  7. PowerPeanut

    Great seeing the blog back Rob!

    Great news with Kam. Hope we can knock out a deal with Britt, need to keep some of the O-line together.

    • Rob Staton

      Great to be back!

  8. KingRajesh

    I’m going to be the contrarian here. I think this is probably a bad idea. I really don’t want the Seahawks to get bilked again by an aging star like we did with Marshawn, and this deal (with such a high guaranteed amount) runs the risk of that.

    Kam’s body is falling apart. He’s a great aspect of the team – quite literally the general of the defense, and his communication is second to none. That being said, he hasn’t played a full season in forever (since 2013) and has played around 12 games for the last 3. Is paying Kam for 12 games a year worth around $12 million APY? I’m not so sure. The Seahawks are gambling that Kam can regain his 2012/13 level of health and ferocity and also keep his level of play where it was last year. That seems like a bet with some long odds.

    Moreover, why Kam and why now? We’ve got almost $93 million (almost 60% of the cap) tied up in rapidly-aging players on the defense and that defense that is paid almost $18 million more than the offense, and that was BEFORE this extension. We also drafted 3 safeties this year, and brought in another in free agency. Why waste draft picks if we’re just going to extend the guy they are supposed to replace? We’ll run out of club control on them before Kam’s deal expires. Just feels strange. I could have gotten behind a 2 year extension, but 3? Yikes.

    I’d have extended Britt.

    • Nathan_12thMan

      >We also drafted 3 safeties this year, and brought in another in free agency. Why waste draft picks if we’re just going to extend the guy they are supposed to replace?

      Because that was an all time deep and talented DB draft class and whether we re-sign our aging LOB or not, they are AGING so we gotta put talented guys behind them for when they miss games due to injuries and for when they retire.

      Because Earl missed time for the first time and how did that go? Terrell was a ST player, not a safety. We had to put a decent FS back there.

      Because Kam has continued to miss time (~3 games a season) and so we upgrade our vet who plays when he is out hurt (McDougald>McCray) and the young pup who is developing and could be Kam’s replacement come Kam retirement time.

      Also, remember PC wants to use the big/buffalo nickel. Right now that is likely McDougald but if Kam gets hurt then McDougald takes over at SS and Hill likely steps in at Buffalo. And in ’18 we might let McDougald walk and then Hill takes over full time at the Buffalo position. When Kam gets hurt he moves over to SS and someone else (or no one) takes over at Buffalo.

      What wouldn’t have made sense is grabbing Peppers or some other safety high in the draft when the plan is to extend Kam and likely extend Earl again. But you’re calling a R3 strong safety (where we had four picks) a waste?

      *One of the safeties we brought in (Tyson) is seen as a CB project. So calling him a safety isn’t really accurate.


      Your POV isn’t wrong. That is what is interesting about this, you’re being pessimistic (possibly realistic) and Rob is being optimistic (possibly realistic). We won’t know until he plays through the deal because the big question is, how many games does he play in and to what level of effectiveness?

      My POV is with Rob with a dash of your worry mixed in. Kam is more than just an elite strong safety on the field. He is our Ray Rice as Rob put it. Removing the heart and soul of our defense/team by letting him walk in FA would likely be impactful. He is arguably our number one team leader and on the field we’ve seen how critical he is in getting the DB’s lined up. Some TV commentators incorrectly call Earl the QB of the defense, the guy who lines everyone up. Nope, that is Kam. Removing that and going with a new/young player could really hurt us.


      >I’d have extended Britt.

      Well first off, that is still possible.

      Secondly, that is a fairly presumptuous thing to say. It was just one year ago at this exact time that we were pulling our hair out at the idea of Britt being the presumed starter at center. Now here we are banging on PCJS’s doors saying he deserves $10m APY for 4 years. I see the value in locking up a young pro-bowl center for the peak of Russell’s career (28-33 years old). I’d love that. But for all we know next year at this time Britt will be signed to another team and Pocic or Hunt will be our starting center and while they likely won’t be on his level day one, they could very well be close enough that it makes paying Britt $10m APY a luxury we shouldn’t take.

      What if Fant is average, or hell, good? He is only signed through 2018. What if by then he is good enough that we need to extend him and pay him $13m APY? That’s the top of the market right now (https://overthecap.com/position/left-tackle/) but what will the market look like in 1-2 years? An average LT with his athleticism and ceiling with make major bank. We still need to re-extend Earl and then pay HUGE money to Frank Clark and likely big money to Tyler Lockett. There’s also the possibility we want to re-sign Shead if he gets healthy this year, plays well and ends the season healthy.

      If Pocic or Hunt are good centers, would you rather have Britt (a potential top 5 center) than Frank or Tyler?

      • Volume12


      • Matt B.

        I think there’s two thoughts I have to add to this good discussion:
        1. As a team you also have to consider who these players represent to the fans and to the team itself. Lynch’s contract didn’t end up as well as we’d all hoped but Marshawn was an incredibly important part of our team identity and considering what we spent on him overall for the performance he delivered over the time he was here, I’d say we got a good deal out of what we paid for him. Same thing with Kam, even if he goes down with an injury or has a slower season, he’s balled out for us so much and created so many amazing highlights that I’m ok rewarding him. Let’s not forget any other player we spent money on has the chance of getting injured as well.
        2. In terms of wasting draft picks on Safety, I think one element we often forget is just how long the training process is. Especially for a scheme which I believe heavily relies on our safeties being good. Hill and Thompson shouldn’t be starters this year or maybe not even next year, they need to develop and learn the system and will have the chance to do so from the best two currently playing. Not a bad deal in my book.

        • Nathan_12thMan

          1. I honestly don’t know how much “reward the players” and pleasing the fans comes into the mind of our fantastic FO who are all about winning. It could be a bit, it could be more, or it could be none. I think it really helps that Beastmode and now Kam are elite players at their position, so over spending/committing isn’t as bad as if they did that to a lesser player.

          2. Very true. If Earl and Kam play really well without missing too much time, they could have Shead like careers in which they are on special teams and developing as DB’s until they are in their 3rd, 4th or even 5th year. We had a lot of picks and BPA was going to be DB’s because of the depth and talent at the position in the ’17 draft class. We had a need with Kam a UFA in ’18, Sherm on the trading block and Earl just off a legit injury. Our backups (Terrell and company) proved to be below acceptable levels as DB’s on the field. We needed better talent to backup our aging DB’s. We got it.

      • H

        He is most certainly not our Ray Rice…
        Personally ecstatic to have Bam Bam back, most important player on this team behind Russ and Earl. I think the game he had against New England last season was truly one of the greatest performances he’s ever had and I would point to that game for anyone who suggests that he’s not the same player as the championship years. He’s a generational talent and our D will never be the same without him. And definitely more valuable than Britt (who I would love to retain of course, assuming he maintains his play from last season)
        This was the best news I could have hoped for to cheer me up after McDowell

      • Steve Nelsen

        Britt has had one good year so far. Good. Not all-pro or even all-star. Good. It is too soon to even think about extending him.

        Honestly, I don’t think that extending Britt is even in the Seahawks’ plans if he has an all-star or all-pro season this year. I wrote a guest article while Rob was on sabbatical digging in to some comments by Tom Cable and asking the question, “Has the Seahawks’ offensive line actually been a success?”

        Being able to extend Kam is possible in part because of the budget savings from what they are paying their O-line. They will keep Frank Clark over Britt. They will keep Tyler Lockett over Britt. They will extend Earl for certain and maybe Sherman before extending Britt.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see much evidence that Kam’s body is falling apart. He missed only three games in 2015 and four games in 2016. Let’s compare that to when Okung and Unger were missing 8+ a season. Or let’s compare it to Earl Thomas with his broken leg — five missed games vs Kam’s seven missed in the last two years.

      He hasn’t played 16 games a year but how many players miss the odd game like Kam? There’s a difference between that and his body breaking down.

    • Chris

      Ding ding.

      We have a winner.

  9. Hawk Eye

    great news, the heart and soul of the team and the guy who helps establish the Seahawks culture on defense.
    Now if they can sign Britt to a reasonable extension, they can then Franchise Graham next year at a reasonable salary also. Need to keep playmakers.

  10. Volume12

    About time! Bam Bam is my guy. Couldn’t be happier about this news. He means much more to this team than what u see on the field. This is a brotherhood. And who’s the guy that ties it all together?

    I don’t get the shout out on the Ray Lewis comp? 😉 In all seriousness though, not what I’m looking for.

  11. Shadow

    OT, but awful news for Nico Siragusa, who a lot of us thought might be a target for Seattle in this year’s draft: per Ian Rapoport he tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL in training camp today and is done for the season: https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/892479844096909312

    • KD

      Absolutely hate to hear that happening to anyone

  12. kerry flynn

    That hit against Davis might have been great if 10 flags hadn’t been thrown, fine or no fine.

    • Rob Staton

      It was still a great hit. A textbook hit.

      • Seahawcrates

        That hit changed the dynamic of the relationship between the 49ers and Seahawks. Seattle became the dominant team at that moment.

        • Rob Staton

          So true

    • Kenny Sloth

      Bad calls gonna happen

  13. Misfit74

    Hopefully we can still extend Graham, possibly Britt. Keeping Graham is absolutely vital.

    Kam received a well deserved contract. Congratulations to him.

    We sure drafted a lot of Safeties, though. I wonder how this affects guys like Thompson, Hill, etc?

    • Rob Staton

      They needed better depth in the secondary

      • Rowdy

        Plus a couple of the safties can play corner too. Versatility is key.

  14. Misfit74

    Kam is really nearly 1/3 of the 100 LOB. Earl, Shem and Kam rule. Looking forward to the other DB spots being scored out.

  15. Del Tre

    Happy to hear this, makes me think they are banking on Lano Hill to take over McDougalds role on early downs, hence the 1 year contract.

  16. HawkFan907

    Great news, locking him up means we are SB contenders for the next 4 years. I’m pleased with our DB depth. We had to solidify that going forward. Next year I believe will focus on the future of the WEs, a Britt replacement, and another LB.

  17. Kenny Sloth

    Kaepernick to Indianapolis if Luck is out for a while??

  18. Charles Fraychineaud

    I love how intense and focused Rawls looks in that short video of Chancellor hyping up the team. Russell is sitting in the close, but Rawls looks like every time Chancellor looks his way, he’s ready to go.

    • Rob Staton

      So easy to root for Rawls. Fire in his belly. Will be great if he can stay healthy this year.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Crazy Goatee on him at training camp

        Looks like a Game of Thrones villain

  19. drewdawg11

    We have had maybe the worst group of backup safeties in the league over the past 5 seasons. We needed to add depth for sure.

  20. House

    I personally believe the Kam signing is a great thing. It is a situation that shows players that trusting the process and loyalty pay off. In regards to drafting 3 safeties, no one has ever bitched about having depth. Injuries happen and we may be using a lot of 3 safety sets (the versatility McDougald brings, Hill/Thompson/Tyson) can learn. It’s when an injury occurs and then were are dealing with the likes of Dion Bailey and the Steven Terrell’s and the “Oh fudge” flag is waved.

    This front office has shown the ability to extend players, sign FAs and we have never busted the cap/needed to cut people for being over. A potential Jimmy Graham extension will be an interesting. I think guys like Kearse/Lane will be looked at this season to possibly make money available for “underperforming” their contracts. Britt is another potential situation to look at. He plays well and looks for a ton of money that we aren’t willing to pay (a la Linder’s contract); we have potential replacements in place and earn a comp pick in the process…

    Seeing how Kam does this season and throughout this contract will be something to watch, but for now, this is a HUGE positive and one less worry to be concerned with.

  21. Pauld

    I would quibble about our best player on defense. While integral parts of the team, we played quite well in games without Kam and Moses last year. But the defense looked decided average when Earl got hurt. And there is a reason why Sherman is the team’s highest paid player.

    Another beef I have is with all the talk about the tight window for the aging LOB. King mentioned in his article today how Seattle will start up to 6 guys 28 or older on D. Athletes peak around that age (most world records set at age 27). This defensive backfield are in their prime and can dominate for the next few years – particularly with there knowledge of the game and ability to play together.

    Under reported is just how good our run defense was last year. The real x-factor is McDowell and I’m waiting on pins and needles for the medical prognosis.

  22. CHawk Talker Eric

    It is my pleasure and honor to help support the finest football blog anywhere. Thank you Rob for giving me a way to demonstrate my gratitude.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man, appreciate not only the support but also the kind words.

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