Yesterday, longtime Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor announced that he’s stepping away from the NFL due to injury. The 30-year-old was once considered to be one of the top safeties in the entire game, joining Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman to form the Legion of Boom. The secondary helped lead the Seahawks to five straight playoff berths, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship, with Chancellor earning four Pro Bowl nods along the way.
Their Super Bowl victory was four years ago, but the team is now rostering only six starters from the championship-winning squad (excluding Chancellor). As Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com points out, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas and Byron Maxwell (who has since left the organization and returned) are the only starting defenders left on the team, while Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin are the lone offensive players.
Of course, Chancellor’s announcement does more than reduce the number of holdovers from that Super Bowl-winning team. Rather, the move has a major financial impact on the organization, which several reporters have detailed over the past 24 hours…
- Former NFL agent Joel Corry expects Chancellor to ultimately land on the Physically Unable to Perform list (Twitter link). Officially retiring and letting the Seahawks get out of his $5.2MM injury guarantee in 2019 (his $6.8MM for 2018 has already been guaranteed) would be “an extremely generous gesture” by the defensive back, adds Corry.
- The agent has more specific information on the financial implications of Chancellor’s unofficial retirement (via Twitter). The safety will count towards a $9.3MM cap charge in 2018 and a $10.2MM cap charge in 2019, and the team would have a $14.5MM and $5MM cap hit by cutting him now (the 2019 guarantee would “accelerate,” per Corry). This money is all part of the three-year, $36MM extension Chancellor signed during last year’s training camp.
- Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times suggests that Chancellor and the Seahawks could eventually agree to a settlement, thus alleviating the organization of the financial burden. The writer also believes the organization will keep the retired safety on the roster for 2018 and see what happens next year, with the hope that Chancellor might be able to eventually pass a physical (thus letting the team out of the injury guarantee).
- Condotta points out that the Seahawks are sitting with around $10.5MM in cap space at the moment, although they could open up some room by adjusting their current players’ contracts. The writer specifically focuses on left tackle Duane Brown, who is set to have a $9.75MM cap hit this season. On the flip side, Chancellor’s announcement shouldn’t do much to hurt the Seahawks next offseason, as the team is sitting with $54MM in available space, the third-highest mark in the NFL.