Huard: Seahawks’ first offseason move should be a contract extension for Kam Chancellor

Feb 2, 2017, 12:29 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm

Brock Huard says he wants Kam Chancellor leading the Seahawks' ship for the next three years. (AP)...

Brock Huard says he wants Kam Chancellor leading the Seahawks' ship for the next three years. (AP)


In Joe Buck’s new autobiography, the Fox Sports announcer recalls an anecdote about why he was certain the Seahawks would win Super Bowl XLVIII. The confidence came after speaking with the Legion of Boom secondary, but it wasn’t cornerback Richard Sherman’s big talk or free safety Earl Thomas bouncing off the wall with energy; it was how both deferred to strong safety Kam Chancellor and his intimidating assurances that no Broncos receiver would be going over the middle. It left Buck saying Denver had “no chance.”

That story cemented the belief of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard on what the Seahawks’ primary aim should be this offseason: inking Chancellor to a long-term contract extension.

“The first deal that should get done in this entire new year in 2017 is Kam Chancellor,” Huard said. “He’s got one year remaining. I want to see a headline that comes up that says, ‘Kam Chancellor, Seahawks sign to a three-year extension,’ or a two-year extension – whatever it is. I want a three-year deal for him right now.”

Chancellor, who turns 29 in April, was named as a Pro Bowl alternate for the 2016 season in which he finished with 85 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and eight passes defended in 12 games. His four-year, $28 million contract expires after the 2017 season; he’s scheduled to make $7.125 million.

Having missed seven games over the past two seasons, including four in 2016 with a groin injury, the team has had trouble replacing him, allowing at least 24 points in three of those games. The former fifth-round pick also held out for the first two games of the 2015 season over a contract dispute. Defensive end Michael Bennett, 31, who also voiced displeasure over his contract in the past but never held out, was signed to a three-year extension in December.

Unlike 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton, who suggested the Seahawks let Chancellor play through the 2017 season and check his health before making a long-term commitment, Huard said Chancellor has earned a new contract.

“This is a reward and this is an opportunity, more importantly, to move this forward as the guy on the team,” Huard said. “He is, to me, the central figure on this team as it goes from where they have been … to where they are going. He’s the guy I want leading that ship. He’s the guy that I want leading that next young core. He’s the one that I want to turn the baton over to that next group more than anybody else. It’s not Jimmy Graham, it’s not some of these other core players. To me, Kam still resonates in that way.”

Huard said he kept waiting to hear that head coach Pete Carroll had thrust another Seahawk into the leadership role in 2016, but instead, every leadership conversation seemed to center around Chancellor.

For example, Carroll’s comments on the strong safety after Seattle’s win in New England: “Unbelievable effect, he had a huge effect. He was just there and on it and you knew he was out there and you couldn’t miss him. He knocked the ball loose a couple times, those matchups he was battling through to keep them at bay somewhat, just his presence is so welcomed and so meaningful. He’s just a freaking stud.”

Or during Carroll’s season-ending press conference: “Kam has just been recognized as one of the real pillars in this program, and he is always, since his second year or so, third year for sure, has just been that guy and he’s earned that. It’s the kind of thing you can’t do much about; he’s just got it. So everybody is willing to listen to him.”

And while Seattle’s defense struggled at times during the 2016 season, that was not the case when Chancellor and Thomas, who broke his leg in Week 13, were on the field together. During those eight games, the Seahawks went 6-2 and allowed just two total touchdowns during the losses.

That’s why Huard is recommending Carroll and general manager John Schneider take Vice President of Football Administration Matt Thomas and Chancellor’s agent out of the equation, and handle the business as a family.

“I think you’ve got enough cap space now, and projecting forward that if you’re Pete and you’re John, you get on that private jet … (and) you fly to Virginia Beach and say, ‘Kam, this is amongst men. Water under the bridge. What was done in the past in business is done. The three of us know that you are the leader, that you are the voice, and we want you to be the voice for the next three years, so let’s get this done; let’s be reasonable.’

“I would love to see that as the first deal accomplished.”

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