Could Seahawks’ decision on Kam Chancellor come this week? Not likely
There are a number of difficult decisions looming for the Seahawks this offseason, but could one of them come as early as this week?
Several Seahawks veterans will see part or all of their 2018 salary guaranteed on Friday, Feb. 9. That list includes a couple players who are staples on this year’s roster – Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, and Doug Baldwin are chief among them – and also includes safety Kam Chancellor, whose future with the team is uncertain following a season-ending neck injury.
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Whether or not Chancellor, 29, will be able to return to the field, 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton would be shocked if Seattle made a move ahead of this week’s deadline.
“I still think they’re just going to wait,” Clayton said. “Wait to see if he can play and not release him yet.”
Making things more complicated is Chancellor’s injury guarantee. The four-time Pro Bowler signed a three-year, $36 million contract extension in August 2017, with $13 million guaranteed at signing. Another $12 million of that will still be guaranteed if Chancellor is unable to play due to the injury he sustained while starting for Seattle in Week 10 (that number is comprised of the $6.8 million in base salary this year, and $5.2 million of his $10 million base salary in 2019).
If Chancellor were to retire, he would be forfeiting that $12 million – a business decision few, if any, would make.
Being that the Seahawks will pay either way, Clayton expects Seattle to retain Chancellor and, if he does not pass the preseason physical, place him on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the season. Another possibility could be a settlement; one Clayton could see if Chancellor chose to remain with Seattle in another role.
“The win would be, let’s say, that he wants to get into coaching. Then, you just reach a settlement. That would be probably the best way to do it so it’s not contentious. He has an existing relationship with the team, and you can take the value of what he had on the football field and did for leadership and carry it (into that role). That, I think, would be the one thing that would be the best-case scenario: if they can work something out and have him continue with the team if he can’t continue playing.
“I think (training camp) could be a definite possibility (for any decision about Chancellor). Because again, you want to try to wait until the right time. We’re not the doctors here. We’re anticipating that he’s not going to be able to play again, I think that’s what it’s going to be, and you know it’s going to be a big financial loss if he does not play and then has that (injury) guarantee. And maybe he can (play). I mean, the one thing is, I think Kam’s in a good relationship with this team right now; the problems of the past are in the past, so I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. I think they can still work this out and see. Again, I think they’re going to be on the line for something. But hey, if you sign someone and it doesn’t work out, that just is what it is.”
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 the latest episode of his “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on 710Sports.com.