Does it seem like just yesterday that we were learning about how the Seattle Seahawks and strong safety Kam Chancellor were getting really close in contract talks? Okay, so it was actually two days ago, but the point stands. As of quite recently, it looked like this holdout had a good chance of wrapping up. And today it doesn’t.
Here’s a link to some audio from ESPN. In it you hear people talking about not-the-Seahawks, but they also talk about the Seahawks. Or, more specifically, the Chancellor situation. Ed Werder addresses the holdout and drops a couple bombshells. First he mentions that Paul Allen has gotten involved in the talks. That guy is pretty high up the chain! The second piece of news is that the team has made a final offer and is no longer planning on talking this one out.
If this report is entirely accurate, then it sounds like the Seahawks really are going to play hardball. They like the offer they’ve made to Kam and aren’t worried about it setting any kind of dangerous precedent. They’re banking that after a week or so he’ll realize he just wants to play football, and that that’ll prompt him to take whatever it is they’ve offered and re-join the team.
Based on all we’ve heard, it sounds like Chancellor’s biggest concern is moving 2017 money to 2016. He seems fine with his pay for this season, but just wants to ensure a larger guarantee before his contract year. He’s a star athlete in his prime – why wouldn’t he want that? But there’s another side to this, and it has to do with how the holdout affects his current value.
You know what Chancellor can’t do while he’s sitting at home waiting for more money? Play professionally in the National Football League. The least valuable kind of football player is the football player who doesn’t play, which is what Kam will be in week one. There are only sixteen games per season, so the relative value of lost time is huge. Especially considering that Kam is healthy and really should be out there playing.
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive back Kam Chancellor (31) against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kam believes he’s outperformed his current deal, and wants it restructured to acknowledge this. He’s worth more than this, sure – but only if he’s playing. The more time he misses, the less valuable he becomes. The less valuable he becomes, the weaker his case for a raise gets. And the less likely it is that the Seahawks will want to keep him around for 2017.
It’s pretty clear why the Seahawks aren’t interested in taking this discussion any further – they’re fed up with all of this. They have a player under contract, and he’s a good player, but he’s also a player who’s refusing to honor a contract that he signed. Players sign contracts all the time, and then they play football. Kam Chancellor is the exception to this rule, and he’s actively making his team worse by doing this. Why wouldn’t the Seahawks be pissed?
It remains to be seen if Kam Chancellor and the Seattle Seahawks can bridge the gap that currently seperates them. If they’re able to do so, it’ll likely be because the player caved, and not the team. And given the long-term implications of continuing to sit, it’s probably in the player’s best interest to cave, and soon.
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