JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Seahawks, Kam Chancellor face hurdles in getting extension done

Jun 14, 2017, 1:23 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm
Once the NFL's top-paid strong safety, Kam Chancellor is entering the last year of his deal. (AP)...
Once the NFL's top-paid strong safety, Kam Chancellor is entering the last year of his deal. (AP)
(AP)

After the Seahawks’ minicamp practice on Tuesday, Kam Chancellor’s contract negotiations went on the table.

“Well, we would very much like to work something out,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re working at it. That’s really all we we’ll say, but we are working at it with every intention of taking care of business. It takes a while. These things take a while. His frame of mind and our frame of mind is in a really good place and we’re going to work hard to get something done as soon as we can.”

Said Chancellor: “I trust their word. I trust what they say. I’ll let it happen when it’s supposed to happen, and all I can do is control what I can control right now, and that’s playing on the field and keeping that camaraderie together with my brothers and just keep building.”

Chancellor is entering the final year of his deal, and losing him to free agency would mean the beginning of the end of the Legion of Boom, as Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman are free agents after 2018.

Regarding Carroll’s comment about how “these things take a while,” the question is how long?

Earl Thomas: I feared career was over with broken leg

So much depends on the deal. Chancellor makes slightly over $7 million a year, which two years ago made him the highest-paid strong safety in football. Eric Berry’s franchise tag in Kansas City last year dropped Chancellor to No. 2, though, and Reshad Jones of the Dolphins was right behind him at $7 million a year.

The market has changed since then. Jones signed for $12 million a year. Berry got $13 million a year.

The problem facing Chancellor and the Seahawks is whether Seattle can meet that new market for strong safeties.

I can’t see any way the Seahawks pay him $12 million or $13 million a season. Chancellor is 30 next April, he’s missed nine games over the past three years because of injuries, and his hard hitting style of play probably makes his body older than 29. Chancellor also had both ankles operated on this offseason, removing bone spurs that have been a recurring problem for him.

“I had surgery, what, four or five years ago, and had to get it again,” Chancellor said. “I don’t know what it is. It’s just a part of me. I had bone spurs in my ankle and they were kind of like tearing my leg up every time I dorsiflexed. But they’re clean right now.”

Here are the perimeters of the Chancellor debate. The Seahawks could wait until the end of the season to see where he is physically. Seattle drafted his potential replacement this year, Delano Hill, in third round. Not signing Chancellor, though, could indicate the LOB enters a short-term status.

One benefit to extending Chancellor now is that the Seahawks could lower his 2017 cap number, which is scheduled to be $8.125 million. But giving him a deal averaging more than $10 million would present the Seahawks with more problems. Thomas makes $10 million a year, and anything over that would be the baseline for Thomas’ demands if he were to get an extension.

The key for Chancellor is finding the right number and the right timing for the deal.

Want more John Clayton? Listen on-demand to his weekday and Saturday shows as well as his “Cold Hard Facts” and “Clayton’s Morning Drive” segments on 710 ESPN Seattle. Also, check out his all-new “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on 710Sports.com.

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