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Seahawks may choose to keep Chancellor on roster indefinitely

A neck injury kept Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor sidelined for the final six games of 2017. (AP)

Friday was the first major decision-making day of the 2018 offseason.

As it turned out, the news was minimal. Friday’s waiver wire had only three transactions: The New York Giants waived tackle Bobby Hart from the waived-injured list, and both the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles had two minor future signings.

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Nothing happened with Seattle, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. The Seahawks had to make decisions about four players who would see their 2018 base salaries guaranteed if they were still on the roster as of Friday, Feb. 9, five days after the Super Bowl.

Three players were no brainers: quarterback Russell Wilson was guaranteed $4.9 million of his $15 million base salary, linebacker Bobby Wagner was guaranteed $2 million of his $10 million base salary, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin was guaranteed $4.5 million of his $8.25 million base. Ultimately, you knew that $11.4 million in guarantees were going to go to those three players, as they’re three of the most important players on the roster.

The one question was Kam Chancellor. Once 1 p.m. PT came and went, Chancellor had his $6.8 million base salary guaranteed. He also had an injury guarantee (with his injured neck, he wouldn’t pass a physical at this time, so he is entitled to his $6.8 million).

The reason it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s is still on the roster is because it didn’t make sense to cut him. There is a good chance the Seahawks will keep him on the roster indefinitely. Should they cut him, the Seahawks would have to pay him $12 million because they would be responsible for the $5.2 million injury guarantee he has in 2019.

Waiting things out is the smartest business decision for the team, and clearly Chancellor’s best business decision is to not retire. If he announces his retirement, the team could come back and ask for repayment of $7.5 million, the remaining pro-rating of signing bonus money in his contract. Chancellor received a $10 million signing bonus. For cap purposes, that $10 million cap charge is spread over four years.

What I could expect is that the Seahawks keep him on the roster until as late as the start of training. First they have to determine if his neck is good enough that he would play. Second, if Chancellor does retire around that time, maybe a settlement could be work out so both sides don’t feel slighted.

The relationship between the Seahawks and Chancellor is good. Each side has put aside the bitterness of his two-game holdout a couple years ago.

Friday could have been newsy, but it wasn’t.

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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