Seahawks Must Hold Firm in Kam Chancellor Saga


It was painful last weekend to watch the Seattle Seahawks‘ secondary give up a last-minute, long touchdown pass.

Of course that led to a thoroughly depressing overtime loss that probably had many people thinking, “Well, that’s it! They need to pay Kam whatever it takes to get him back.”  As is often the case, the natural thing to do is often the wrong course of action to take.

SEE ALSO: Seattle Seahawks Fall Short in Wild OT Opener

At no point was the choice not to give into Kam’s demands based on the clichéd next man up philosophy.  It was equally silly to think that plugging in Dion Bailey (making his NFL debut) at the safety position in Seattle’s primarily Cover 3 Defense was going to be a wise move.

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The reason the Seahawks decided to sign Kam Chancellor to a 4-year contract extension, less than 29 months ago and one year before his scheduled free agent season, was because they recognized his talent.

They also appreciated and wanted to reward him for his presence on the field, in the locker room and his community.  He is a Pro-Bowler, a leader, a mentor and an extension of the coaching staff within the ranks.

Unfortunately, Chancellor’s desire to have his contract restructured may come back to bite him.

The owner and management of the Seahawks have the responsibility of putting all available resources into building the best on-field product it possibly can under the constraints of the collectively bargained NFL salary cap.

It is that cap and the rules that define it that prevent ownership and management from just giving Kam a little extra.  Paul Allen can’t legally drop $3M into the Kam Kares Foundation coffers or make him a part owner of the team.

By re-signing their star players to deserved market value contracts, the Seahawks are up against the cap ceiling and literally cannot afford to further take care of a player they’ve already handsomely rewarded.

That could cause a ripple effect that may do as much damage as Kam’s desire to hold out for restructuring. More importantly, even if they decided they could give in to Kam’s demands, it would set a dangerous precedent. 

Let’s play a game called So now what?

Here’s how it goes: we assume the Seahawks kowtow to Kam’s monetary demands with three years remaining on his contract, pay him whatever he’s asking for, and get him into camp tomorrow. So now what? Well, here are just some of the possible ramifications of such a reckless decision:

First of all, I’m sure Michael Bennett recalls having the exact same problem with his contract that Kam had and now regrets being professional about it. He feels silly about actually showing up to work like everyone else under contract, and , seeing how it paid off for Chancellor, leaves practice the day Kam shows up for it and asks his agent to inform the team that he won’t be back until his contract better reflects his contribution to the success of the team.

So now what? Do you cater to Bennett too? What is to stop 51 other guys from doing the same thing? If you decide to put your foot down on Bennett, you’re right back to where you were on-field as you watch teams take advantage of the team’s fourth best player’s absence. What do people think will happen if teams line up across from Demarcus Dobbs instead of Michael Bennett?

Secondly, if you bump Kam’s compensation in 2016, you create even less opportunity to add to the team in a way that keeps it at championship-level in terms of talent. By inflating Kam’s cap number from a current $6.1M to something higher, it may directly affect your ability to re-sign your own free agents. It may cost you the ability to re-sign Russell Okung or J.R. Sweezy.

So now what? Imagine an offensive line that is even worse than the one currently being asked to protect the franchise QB and open holes for the running backs. It may even force you to cut a player that is under contract for next season but vulnerable due to a relatively high cap number. Examples of such players are Doug Baldwin or Cliff Avril.

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Finally, if the two sides reach an agreement where money from the 2017 contract year has to be pulled into 2016, what on earth makes anyone think Kam will play for less money in 2017?

So now what? The only way around that is to just give him more money without Kam making any concessions. In other words, you would be letting the inmates run the asylum. See how far you get toward your team goals if the players don’t fully buy in to what the coaches are selling and just wing it on their own. Congratulations, you’re now Cleveland.

There are endless possibilities of what could happen next if the Seahawks give in to Kam Chancellor in a situation where he has no leverage, his demands are unreasonable, and his actions are detrimental to the team. All of those possibilities are bad. The Seahawks must resist giving in regardless of how bad things get on the field in the short-term.

With a prime-time game on the horizon in Lambeau against a great team hell-bent on revenge for last year’s NFC Championship Game, an 0-2 start is a better than coin flip possibility. If that happens, the team must stay true to its core principles, despite the cries to cave in to Kam.

It can’t be understated how hard Kam Chancellor is ripping at the fabric of this tightly-knitted organization at a time when they should be entirely focused on another promising season.  It won’t be said publicly (I don’t think, anyway), but you have to believe there are several players in that locker room that are highly disappointed in Kam’s decision to turn his back on his teammates.

With each passing game, that number of players probably increases, along with opportunities for in-fighting as teammates choose sides in the matter.  It’s up to Kam Chancellor to prevent this self-induced apocalypse by bringing his lunch pail back to the office, and now.

LOB currently stands for Love Our Brothers.  Sadly, Kam may be amending that to Leave Others Behind.

Let’s hope Chancellor comes to his senses before this situation progresses to the point of no return.  I’d hate to entertain even the thought of a world where Kam doesn’t kill Vernon Davis anymore.

Next: Seahawks at Rams: Prediction, Bettor's Guide

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