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Clayton: Seahawks wouldn’t get equal value in Kam Chancellor trade

John Clayton believes a fourth-round pick is the best Seattle could get in return by trading Kam Chancellor. (AP)

ESPN’s John Clayton believes the Seahawks could have possibly gotten up to a second-round pick in return by trading Kam Chancellor last year, when the strong safety was holding out over unhappiness with his contract.
Clayton told “Brock and Salk” Tuesday that the trade market for the former Pro Bowler won’t be as high this offseason, and that he’s more valuable on the field for the Seahawks than as a trade chip.

“At that time, (Houston) might have been willing to put a second up, and that’s rare because the way it works right now, you basically start with the idea teams treasure first-, second- and third-round picks, so any trade you’re gonna talk about is going to be a fourth-round pick or lower, unless it’s gonna be a Jimmy Graham or unless it’s gonna be a quarterback,” Clayton said. “So I’d say right now, the value is not going to be equal to his value for the team so I don’t anticipate any kind of a trade.”

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Clayton noted that it only takes one interested team to make a big deal, but he said the most Seattle could get in return for Chancellor is likely in the fourth-round range.

“I don’t know if you even want to trade him for a second-round pick,” he said. “They need Kam Chancellor.”

Of course, it’s entirely possible that Chancellor remains unsatisfied with his contract and that the two sides end up in a similar situation as last year.

Chancellor held out for seven weeks and missed the first two games of the 2015 season. Kelcie McCray filled in capably while Chancellor while the final three regular-season games with a bruised tailbone. Chancellor has two years left on his deal with salary-cap costs of $6.1 million in 2016 and $8.125 million in 2017. The Seahawks would assume $2 million in “dead money” on their 2016 cap if they traded Chancellor.

Mike Salk asked if the Seahawks really do need Chancellor back after his relatively “down” season. Clayton compared the situation to Denver’s decision in 2014 with a physically declining Peyton Manning, when the Broncos fired their head coach and explored trades for a younger quarterback – Tyrod Taylor. The team made adjustments but ultimately stayed by its star.

“You stay by the formula as long as it’s working,” Clayton said. “For four years, this has been the No. 1 defense in the league as far as fewest points allowed. If you get rid of Kam Chancellor, you’re breaking that equation. He’s a core-group guy on a team that still has a run. And if he’s declining, and he declines a little more next year, deal with it after the season or during the season. Right now, on paper, you’ve got to keep him because you want to try to keep that value because the defense is still so good.”