Kam Chancellor is retiring

During the Pete Carroll era, I think there are three players other teams really coveted.

Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Kam Chancellor.

That’s not a slight on Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin and others. There’s just something about that trio. Wilson because of his position, playmaking and uniqueness. Lynch and Chancellor because of their tone-setting, brutal physicality and talent.

Football is a physical game. It’s more fun when you’re the intimidator rather than the finesse, efficiently schemed machine. Lynch and Chancellor developed the LOB culture in Seattle. They more than anyone else connected the offense and defense.

The fear factor they both created might never be seen again. It was a pleasure to witness. Seattle were the team that didn’t just beat an opponent — they also beat them up. Thus those long runs where opponents would lose the following week after facing Seattle. It was real.

The hit on Vernon Davis in 2012 and the sledgehammer delivered to Demaryius Thomas in the Super Bowl are two of the defining plays of the Carroll era. Here was Seattle, through Chancellor, sending a message. Not just to two individual players or an opponent. This was a message to the league.

Chancellor wasn’t just a huge physical presence though. It appears he was the guy to his team mates. The leading alpha. He was also an exceptional football player, worthy of being remembered not just for the big hits but also for his skill and football ability.

Increasingly this team is starting to look very, very different. Legendary players are moving on. Rather than spend a lifetime agonising over that one play at the end of that one game, we’d all be better off recalling how incredible it was to watch this team grow from nothing to become a Championship band of brothers.

Kam Chancellor was one of the best players in the NFL, on one of the best teams in recent memory, on undoubtedly one of the all-time great defenses.

And it was fun to watch.


  1. Gohawks5151

    Godspeed my man. I think we all knew it was coming and yet to hear it still is a gut punch to hear. The heart and soul of the LOB. The calm in the storm. It was a pleasure to watch him play. The living embodiment of physical football. Sad we couldn’t send him out on top and an unassuming hit is his last. Good luck Bam Bam. Hope you stay on the team in some capacity.

    Sidenote. I can’t ignore the timing of another VT guy in the support draft. He can play a little safety as well. For a 5th I do it.

  2. DC

    Kam is probably my 2nd favorite Hawk defender of all time trailing only Kenny Easley. It’s been a true joy to have witnessed the greatest era in Seahawks football. Here’s to hoping Kam lives a long & fulfilling life from here on. Thanks 🙏

    • Trevor

      +1 my two favourite Seahawks as well. Both careers shorter than us fans wanted but when they played it was a beautiful violence as a position that requires it.

  3. Tyler Jorgensen

    Kam was the soul of the Seahawks greatest team.

    He should have been SB MVP, and if he wouldn’t have gotten hurt in practice leading up to the following SB, we probably would have won that one too.

  4. CC

    Hate that it is happening, but glad he’s taking the medical advice and retiring. It is a bit coincidental that the 2 best safeties to wear a Seahawk uniform both will have short careers – Easley and Kam. Thanks for everything Kam!

  5. 12th chuck

    Seahawks D MANHANDLED the best offense of all time, in the biggest game, on a world platform. Kam setting the tone and pace of that game. That’s all that needs to be said.

  6. Dale Roberts

    Does this make Wagner the alpa hawk on defense? Given his spat with Thomas does he have the same cachet as Kam did? Does Wilson? I hope that if he desires a coaching position the Hawks give him the opportunity. I’m thinking Kam never read a book in a team meeting.

    • joel

      When Kam wasn’t on the field, his teammates repeatedly voted Bobby Wagner team captain in his place. It wasn’t Sherman or Earl or Mike B that got that, it was Wagner. The Seahawks know who the leaders are on the field. And when Kam or Bobby have been out with injuries, the defense clearly has suffered. The Seahawks defense will suffer a loss without Kam, no doubt, but they can still function as an elite unit; they’ll just be different You can’t replace Kam Chancellor.

      I agree, Kam should be a coach. So should Bobby and Sherm. Not sure Earl is really interested in that.

  7. Nathan W.

    Kam Chancellor’s jersey is the first jersey that I bought from the money from my first job back when I was 16. Really saddened about the way so many great players are leaving this team. They all deserved a Ray Lewis -esque send off.

    Hopeful to hear some good news about the development of some of the young guys

  8. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Chancellor posted on Twitter that it’s “time for the next chapter” while revealing that the latest tests on his neck weren’t good. Chancellor didn’t use the word retirement in the post, but there’s little question about what’s next when he writes about moving on to “the next journey.”

    He was / is the man. By far one of my personal favorite players from this era. The only jersey I’ve ever bought with a players number and name on it was his. He epitomized everything you want form a football player. At least, the waiting is over. Now we know he won’t come back and play again in the NFL.

    To Kam *raises a beer*

    • Hawk Eye

      He can’t say he is retiring because he will then we be giving up the money owed. He will not retire officially until he collects every penny that he has been guaranteed. There were discussions here a few months ago that Kam would retire and cut them a break. That won’t happen. He will get all his money and he is not going to accept less. As it stands, he is “not medically cleared to play”.
      And I don’t blame him. He put his body on the line and paid the price for it, and the hawks will not give him more than what was agreed to. Pretty simple.
      He was the heart and soul of that great D and was probably the most feared player in the league for at least 5 years or more. With the rules being changed (and they have to be) I doubt we ever see another player like him on any team, let alone the Hawks.
      And he knew this was coming for a while. Ian Rappaport tweeted out that he is down to about 200 pounds, and some recent pictures out there showed he had lost a lot of weight. He would not lose 30 pounds if he thought he would pass those tests.

  9. Pickering

    Thanks, Kam. Best to you in future.
    Does anyone have a video of Pete saying ‘Kam nearly killed that guy.’ (or words to that effect).

  10. C-Dog

    Super Bowl Champ, leader of one of the all time greatest defenses, probably a first ballet hall of famer, fricking great move on his part hanging it up now. As a Kam Chancellor fan, I didn’t want to see him attempt coming back from that injury. Take your health and wealth and enjoy your life.

    If I have one hope it’s that Pete will be able to entice him to become a member of he coaching staff. With him and Ken Norton Jr on a staff together, that would be serious alpha leadership on the sidelines.

    Go Hawks

  11. LouieLouie

    Should be a first ballot hall of famer.

  12. Pran

    All the best Kam! Great while it lasted..

  13. John_s

    For all the great plays he also started the downfall IMO when he held out and missed the first couple of games. Even Earl said that he had a hard time welcoming Kam back because he put self over the brotherhood. Funny now that Earl is doing the same.

    I’ll remember the INT TD and jumping over the kicker against Carolina.

  14. neil

    Now that the team has been dismantled, it makes super bowl 49 harder to take. That team and Kam deserved a second ring.

    • Rob Staton

      We need to stop thinking that way.

      We got to watch the growth and development of a sensational team. They brought the first ever Super Bowl Championship to Seattle. They gave us some incredible moments and memories.

      That’s what matters. Not that one play in that one game.

      Aaron Rodgers only has one ring. Drew Brees only has one ring. Dan Marino didn’t win one. Football doesn’t owe you anything. Let’s just be glad we saw them win one.

      • Sea Mode


      • Hawktalker#1

        +1 enjoy all the positives, stow the negatives.

      • LouieLouie

        Totally with you on this one, Rob. There are many great players who never got the opportunity to play in the Superbowl, much less win a ring. I’m sure that the “worst play call in Superbowl history” had some effect on team psychology, but the Patriots also had a couple of plays that could have done that to the team as well. I think they got past it.

        I’m looking forward to Carroll and Co. engineering another Superbowl run. A decent o-line might make us all forget about that last Superbowl team and start thinking about the next one.

  15. SheHawk

    Agree with Rob! We have the win in SB 48 and arguably were in it the entire game until the bitter end. SB 49 was perhaps the most epic SB battles ever played. Game seasawed back and fourth. In the end, we lost. Honestly I’d prefer what happened in 49 to the Falcons’ freely down any day.

    We had lost cliff, lane, and Earl and Kam played with huge injuries…Disappointed by outcome =yes ..but still incredibly proud of our team. Especially the LOB, within which, Kam was the classiest man. He was the “north star” in a very bright sky!!

    I wish him the best and am forever grateful to have been to every home game he played at CLINK and in stands at both SBs
    I wish him the best and am so grateful to what he gave to our franchise. Simply the best!

  16. Pedestrian

    A true legend. Appreciated every game I got to see him (and LOB) play in. Probably will not see another group quite like them

    • Volume12

      ‘Probably will not see another group quite like them’


      • Pedestrian

        Really hope Kam considers coaching. Would be great for our DBs to continue to learn from him

  17. JimQ

    Hopefully, the Seahawks can forget about the past and focus on the future. With the newly “adjusted” roster & younger players, there is no reason to keep rehashing the SB loss. The past is the past, and nothing is going to change. PC/JS have turned the page and obviously have set the team up to be a running powerhouse with most of their additions this season. Obviously, PC wants a running team, facing all those passing teams. Zig when everyone else zags, that’s the ticket. IF, the new roster can stay focused on their jobs and actually execute the plays the coaches are teaching them, there is no reason they can’t get back to the SB soon, (again, hopefully). Also, a winning ATTITUDE is paramount because the game has become so “mentally challenging” in the NFL. I may be a homer, but I still believe this team will shock a lot of “East coasters”.

  18. TatupuTime

    One of my all-time favourites. Really seemed like the soul of the team for a long time.

    It wasn’t an important moment or a big game – but I’ll never forget when he absolutely destroyed Winston (a guard with Arizona at the time) on route to tackling the RB in the backfield. Just an incredibly strong man with great leverage and timing for big hits.

    • cha

      One of my all time favorites too. A man completely dominating someone 80+ lbs heavier than him. Unreal.

      Along with his strips. Separating AP from the ball in the Minnesota playoff win led to the FG to take the lead on a day where points were in short supply. Minn was chewing the clock and marching toward more points. Nope.

      Also the punch strip of Calvin Johnson to win the game. I was there watching live. We couldn’t believe our eyes. It was inevitable that the Lions would win this one and Kam just said Nope.

  19. Volume12

    Sucks to hear about Bam Bam. He was THE guy. My favorite current Hawk. He’ll be missed and it won’t be the same without him. Guys like him don’t come along often. I enjoyed the ride.

    Best of luck Kam. Go kill whatever this next chapter of your life may be like you did to Vernon Davis on the regular.

  20. Old but Slow

    Per NFL Draft Scout, J R Sweezy is visiting the Seahawks and has taken a physical.

    • Bret

      It better be a middle-low contract for a veteran. His recent injury bug makes him a risk, and I don’t see him in a position of extreme need given our current roster.

  21. Bret


    From my perspective, you did a great job of capturing the “feel” associated with Kam’s presence. Although Sherman, at times, seemed to shut off one third of the field, Kam Chancellor shortened the arms of every receiver going across the middle. For good reason, receivers were loathe to reach too high, or stretch out too far, because the ever-present hammer was just a few footsteps away. His arrival was not met with much fanfare during the draft, but the sound of his hits, to a degree, defined an era of Seahawks football. He’ll be missed, but I am glad he stepped away before he suffered further injury. Best of luck to a great player. I hope he’s honored in Canton!

  22. Coleslaw

    Man, it’s all hitting me.. Gone are the days of not worrying about our opponent’s #1 receivers, even the likes of AB and Julio. Gone are the menacing hits all over the field by Kam in the middle, deep, in the backfield after blowing up a guy 100lbs heavier than him. Gone is Avril’s relentless speed and the mismatches Bennett created on every snap. All those guys were truly special,
    Earl and Wagner are the last of the truly elite members of the LOB. I know this is old news but I’m in the seahawks feels

    • Rob Staton

      Time for new heroes to emerge.

      • FresnoHawk

        BIG TIME!

  23. Ukhawk

    Great piece by Dave Wyman on ESPN Seattle Football 101 where he make a case for Kam as one of the most versatile NFL players ever. He goes on to explain there are very, very few comps in terms of physical skill range (states he can play like/matchup with guys between 6’1” 190 to 6’7” 330) as well as his playmaking skills (deep cover, slot, run support etc). He was certainly a freak. He was a great team guy too.

    • Cole Michels

      Oh absolutely. I agree with Dave 100%. Kam is one of the freakiest, most polarizing figures in NFL history. Hes up there with Lawrence Taylor, Mean Joe Greene and Ray Lewis.

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