Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) during Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kam Chancellor is one of the fiercest athletes in the NFL, and one has to assume that some of that stems from his competitive drive. With that in mind, we can understand that losing is hard to swallow for a guy like Chancellor.
Mr. Chancellor…I hate to tell you this…you are losing.
It is hard to know who is driving this since we are not privy to what happens behind the scenes. Is Kam driving this and making his agent do his bidding? Or has the agent convinced Chancellor that this is the right move?
Unfortunately, football operations have long been left behind. Now we are just down to basic issues of human pride. Once you pass a certain point in a dispute, both sides run the risk of digging in deeper just to save face.
As a fan, you want to root for the underdog, which in this case is probably the player. The lone hero, willing to take on the establishment and fight for his freedom from injustice and tyranny.
That would make a good movie, but in this case it doesn’t exactly fit. We aren’t talking about a historical narrative where there was obvious mistreatment of certain people. We are talking about a guy who is slated to make $4.2 million this season.
Now, there will be those who defend Kam’s holdout. The arguments are predictable. Kam is a good guy. He just wants what is best for his family. The NFL isn’t fair because once players are worn out, the teams will cut them in a heartbeat. He is worth it for what he produces on the field.
Except that…he did sign a contract. At the time, he was thrilled and expressed both excitement and gratitude.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. If players want to be the highest-paid at their position, they should sign a series of one-year deals. If they want more security, they should sign a longer-term deal. But, if they sign that deal they should play it out.
Admittedly, both sides have something to lose, but you get the impression that the Seahawks will sacrifice Kam for the good of the franchise going forward. Precedent is a powerful aspect of society, both in court and in contract negotiations. If the Seahawks give in, how can they possibly expect any player to honor their deal?
Look how long the Russell Wilson negotiations went. What if Wilson leads the Seahawks to another Super Bowl win this year? Would there be anything stopping his agent from coming back to the Seahawks and demanding more cash?
I get it. From a financial standpoint, football is arguably the most unfair in terms of player compensation. Baseball players and football players should swap contract structures. But, this is the way things are. Perhaps the next time the collective bargaining agreement is up, things will change.
Time to play, Mr. Chancellor. We miss you.