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Kam Chancellor Needs to Honor His Contract with the Seattle Seahawks

Thursday, August 13, 2015


“Show me the money.” A line made famous by Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in Cameron Crowe’s 1996 drama Jerry Maguire.  But while a fictional depiction of a modern day athlete’s perspective on professional sports, it’s also a realistic portrayal of an NFL mindset bordering on absurd.

NFL football players earn their money.  I’ve made my opinion on that abundantly clear, and as recent as a few weeks ago, did so regarding the travails of one Russell Wilson.  But what we’ve also seen in those same recent years, and more so in recent weeks with Seattle’s Kam Chancellor, is a mindset so befuddling it leaves me scratching beyond my head, and looking for another’s to dig-in on.

Two years ago Mr. Chancellor signed a four year contract extension.  Meaning he and his agent (the same agent undoubtedly driving this renegotiation bus) negotiated and came to an agreement as to what the standout safety deserved and was worth going forward.  Now, however, a year into a deal set to expire following the 2017 season, a legionnaire of the “Legion Of Boom” and his Jerry Maguire are hitting the brakes on the 2015 season and requesting a redo on the very contract they rubber-stamped.

This was a good contract in 2013.  

Wasn’t it?

After all, if the agent negotiated it, player signed on the dotted line, and later the two likely toasted said deal with a high-end cocktail or two, it had to have been an acceptable level of compensation for the player and management alike.

But now, roughly two years later, during a year when a handful of Kam’s teammates have broken the bank, the All-Pro safety from Virginia Tech is stomping his feet and plugging his ears in protest over compensation he now deems insufficient.

This isn’t a mindset isolated to Kam and his agent.  It’s one becoming popular throughout franchises across the NFL.  In recent years, a handful of players have tried such as an attempt to either get more guaranteed money near the end of a deal, secure a raise, or rip a deal and start from scratch.  I get it, relating to a player nearing the end of a rookie contract he’s spent the first three years significantly outplaying.  But for a veteran player like Chancellor, not even at the mid-point of a contract he signed; It’s simply a bad look for a guy who’s always been above such.

Chancellor is set to make $4.5 million this year, with another million coming as part of a $5 million signing bonus.  But rather than accept the terms upon which he agreed, he’s chosen to holdout from training camp and roll the dice in an attempt to up his compensation.  

The Seahawks, as part of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, can fine Chancellor $30,000 a day for holding out.  And if he were to miss all of training camp, he’d be subject to a fine of 25% of his annual signing bonus, which in Chancellor’s case would equate to an additional $250,000.  In other words, to this point Seattle’s strong safety has accrued essentially $600,000 worth of punishment.

That’s real scratch.

I get it.  An NFL player has a small window to cash-in compared to his compatriots in other professional sports, and he’s always a play away from that window slamming shut. But to sign a contract extension, then a year into it cry about that very same contract, garners little to no sympathy from me.  When you sign a deal you should have the foresight to project it into the future and also understand that the market will shift beyond your market price in present NFL life.

Do you think Russell Wilson is better than Tom Brady?  LeSean McCoy better than Adrian Peterson?  Or Jeremy Maclin better than Calvin Johnson?  Of course not, but the former are all making more than the latter due to the timing of their deals.  It’s the way of the world, and more importantly, the way of today’s NFL world.

Kam Chancellor may not be THE problem, but he’s a sign of one plaguing the league, and ultimately the fans and the franchises they love.

And it’s frustrating to watch.

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News here.


Related Slideshow: Oregon’s Top Pac-12 College Football Players

Here are some of the Oregon players who have managed to make it into the 2014 Top Pac-12 Players List.

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#22 Byron Marshall

College: University of Oregon

Position: Running Back

In 2013 he had 168 carries, 14 touchdowns, 13 catches, 155 receiving yards, and 1,038 rushing yards.  It’s no wonder he makes it as #22 on this list.  Not only do these stats make him a player to watch, but also a player with a lot of potential to climb the rankings.


Photo Credit: Scott Enyeart (Own Work) Live Link (Image Cropped)

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#19 Isaac Seumalo

College: Oregon State University

Position: Offensive Lineman

This Offensive Lineman managed to block QB Sean Mannion who set the Pac-12 single-season record with 4,662 yards passing.  With his abilities to block in the manner of which he did makes him a prime candidate to possibly win the Rimington Trophy, Outland Trophy, and/or Rotary Lombardi Award.


Photo Credit: Karl Maasdam (Own Work) (Image Cropped) Courtesy Oregon State University

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#10 Hroniss Grasu

College: University of Oregon

Position: Center

As a junior in 2013 he became one of three Oregon native players to be named All-Pac-12 two seasons in a row.  He has managed to lead the offensive line to the conference’s number 1 rushing attack.  Entering his final year at U of O, Grasu has started all 40 games of his career at UO making him one of the Duck’s greatest players.


Photo Credit: Daniel Hartwig (Own Work) Live Link (Image Cropped)

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#6 Sean Mannion

College: Oregon State University

Position: Quarterback

Ranking here for breaking the Pac-12 single-season record with 4,662 yards thrown, 35 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions, this is a player the NFL is watching closely. Already sitting at #10 on the conference’s all-time passing list, it’s going to be a breeze for him to pass Matt Barkley’s record of 12,327 yards thrown.


Photo Credit: Karl Maasdam (Own Work) (Image Cropped) Courtesy Oregon State University

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#4 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

College: University of Oregon

Position: Cornerback

In 2013 he was the second Ducks player to have 84 tackles with 3 interceptions, and 9 passes defended.  He is a force to be reckoned with.  It has been unanimous that he is to be the 2014 Preseason All-American.  It’s also been hinted that he may not last too long in the 2015 NFL draft.


Photo Credit: Daniel Hartwig (Own Work) Live Link (Image Cropped)

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#1 Marcus Mariota

College: University of Oregon

Position: Quarterback

With stats such as completing 63.5% of his passes with 3,665 yards, 31 touchdowns, only 4 interceptions, rushing a total of 715 yards with 9 touchdowns, this makes him a hot candidate for the NFL.  He has managed to make U of O one of the Pac-12 favorite college teams as well as a national title contender.  He has also set a U of O single-season record throwing 4,380 total yards and set a Pac-12 record by attempting to throw 353 consecutive passes without interception.  He is also in the running to win the Heisman Trophy as a 1A option.


Photo Credit: Scott Enyeart (Own Work) Live Link (Image Cropped)


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