Kam Chancellor

This Date In Transactions History: Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor Retires

One year ago today, a charter member of the Legion of Boom walked away from football. Safety Kam Chancellor announced his retirement on July 1, 2018, bringing his memorable eight-year career to a close. 

[RELATED: Extension Candidate – Bobby Wagner]

Chancellor was among the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL, earning four Pro Bowl trips along the way. His tenacity helped the Seahawks capture their first ever Super Bowl victory following the 2013 season, a game in which Chancellor came away with a momentum-shifting interception in the early stages.

Unfortunately, a neck injury midway through the 2017 season changed the course of Chancellor’s career. And, despite his repeated insistence that he would play in 2018, doctors did not clear him to return to football.

Chancellor’s departure from the NFL marked yet another exit for a top-flight Seahawk. With Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, Chancellor formed the NFL’s most notorious secondary. But, Chancellor followed Sherman and fellow key defenders Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril out the door. Thomas and others remained, but this clearly marked the end of an era for Seattle.

Although Chancellor announced his intention to retire on 7/1/19, he did not formally file paperwork with the NFL for contractual reasons. In May of 2019, the Seahawks made it all official by releasing him and wide receiver Doug Baldwin on the same day.

Seahawks Release Doug Baldwin, Kam Chancellor

Doug Baldwin is no longer a Seahawk. Two weeks after a report surfaced indicating injuries will likely force the veteran slot receiver to retire, the Seahawks released Russell Wilson‘s top target with a failed-physical designation, the team announced.

The Seahawks also cut Kam Chancellor with this designation. Chancellor announced intentions to retire before last season but did not officially retire in order to collect guaranteed money.

The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed-physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” GM John Schneider said. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community. These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”

Knee, groin and shoulder injuries — which each required surgery — look set to end Baldwin’s career. The 30-year-old wideout led the Seahawks in receiving five times and, with 6,563 yards, is the franchise’s No. 3 all-time receiver — behind only Steve Largent and Brian Blades. Baldwin’s 49 touchdown receptions trail only Largent in Seahawks history. Baldwin booked two Pro Bowl berths and tied for the league lead with 14 touchdown receptions in 2015.

The Seahawks signed Baldwin as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2011; he led the Tarvaris Jackson-quarterbacked team in receiving as a rookie before becoming Wilson’s most trusted target. Baldwin was a key member of both Seattle Super Bowl teams this decade, catching touchdown passes in both the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII win and crushing loss a year later. However, his momentum stalled last season.

A knee injury hampered him during training camp and likely throughout the 2018 campaign, one that ended with Tyler Lockett as Seattle’s leading receiver and Baldwin posting 618 yards — the second-lowest total of his career. While Baldwin came alive late to help the Seahawks back to the playoffs, scoring four of his five touchdowns in December, he clearly was playing hurt. This offseason, he underwent multiple corrective procedures.

Seattle traded up to select D.K. Metcalf in the second round, also adding Wake Forest’s Gary Jennings in Round 4 and Hawaii’s John Ursua in Round 7. The team did not make any notable veteran additions at the position, which will place plenty on Lockett’s shoulders this season.

Baldwin’s second Seahawks extension, signed in 2016, came with $24.25MM in total guarantees. Thursday’s transaction will allow him to collect the remainder of that sum. The Seahawks will save $6.9MM this year by releasing Baldwin. In total, cutting both cornerstone players will give the team around $20MM in cap space next year, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.

Chancellor received a $5.2MM payment earlier this year. The Seahawks will be tagged with $10.2MM in dead money in 2019 because of this move. The 31-year-old safety’s release serves as a mere formality, with the neck injury he sustained during the 2017 season ending his career. These cuts leave Wilson, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright as the only starters left from Seattle’s Super Bowl rosters.

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Cardinals, Saints

Although Kam Chancellor will likely never play football again, the Seahawks safety cashed in today. $5.2MM of his salary for 2019 became fully guaranteed today, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. As Henderson points out, Chancellor likely would’ve received the $5.2MM anyway because it is fully guaranteed for injury, but the Seahawks are holding off releasing Chancellor outright for cap purposes.

“The Seahawks carried Chancellor on PUP in 2018 because cutting him would have caused his cap number to balloon”, Henderson writes, adding that “the likely outcome, it seems, is that the Seahawks cut Chancellor later this offseason since the cap penalties won’t be nearly as severe as they were last year.” Chancellor suffered a neck injury in Week 10 of the 2017 season that was apparently serious enough to prevent him from ever being medically cleared to play. Chancellor was a longtime member of the team’s vaunted ‘Legion of Boom’ unit, and made four Pro Bowls with the team. Chancellor was a fifth round pick out of Virginia Tech back in 2010.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Speaking of the Seahawks, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times sat down with former NFL agent and current CBS Sports Analyst Joel Corry to talk all things related to Seattle’s upcoming offseason. Corry opined that the team would likely franchise tag star defensive end Frank Clark to avoid letting him hit the open market. Clark’s agent has made bold claims in the media about not settling for anything less than a massive deal, which Corry took to mean the Seahawks are “almost going to have to franchise him.” Condotta and Corry both agreed that the recent report the team hasn’t talked extension with Russell Wilson isn’t anything to be concerned about, but Corry also seemed to indicate he expected Wilson’s representatives to be patient and drag things out.
  • The Cardinals are hiring Matt Harriss away from the Lions as their new director of administration, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Garafolo notes that Harriss will be Arizona’s contracts guy, and that the Lions and Cardinals essentially swapped contract negotiators because Detroit had just hired Mike Disner away from the Cardinals.
  • The Saints changed the language in pass-rusher Alex Okafor‘s contract back in December, and the new deal language automatically voided the 2019 year of Okafor’s contract, a source told Nick Underhill of The Advocate. Underhill writes that the deal was re-worked to give Okafor a $400K bonus even though he came up one sack short of the incentive, and it also guaranteed him free agency. Okafor was having a really good year in 2017 before tearing his Achilles, and then re-signed on a cheap deal with the Saints before the 2018 season started. Now fully healthy, the voided year means Okafor will be an unrestricted free agent this March and he’ll have the chance to cash in with a big contract.

NFC West Notes: Rams, Seahawks, Wilson

Rams left guard Rodger Saffold wants to return to Los Angeles in 2019, but the pending free agent also acknowledged the reality of the open market. “I don’t think that it’s any surprise to people to know that I want to be back,” Saffold said Tuesday, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com. “At the end of the day, though, I need to make sure that it’s something fair for me… something I can use and feel that I was treated fair.” Saffold, 30, just wrapped a five-year, $31.722MM contract with the Rams and is the most accomplished guard scheduled to hit free agency next month. While Los Angeles has roughly $35MM in cap space, the club also has several other free agents — Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler, and Lamarcus Joyner among them — whom it may want to re-sign. Saffold could potentially take precedent given that the Rams’ offensive line, which ranked top-six in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, was critical to their run as NFC champions.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Although Russell Wilson is entering the final season of his contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the Seahawks have yet to begin extension discussions with their franchise quarterback. Indeed, according to a report from 710 Sports in Seattle, a new deal for Wilson likely won’t be agreed to until at least August. Wilson, 30, inked a four-year, $87.6MM extension in 2015, a deal which — at the time — made him the league’s second highest-paid quarterback. The NFL’s salary cap, and signal-caller salaries, have risen at a steady rate since, leaving Wilson as just the 11th-highest-paid QB on an annual basis. He’ll surely target at least $30MM/year on his next deal, and given Seattle’s willingness to reset positional markets, Wilson could surpass Aaron Rodgers‘ $33.5MM AAV.
  • Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor will have $5.2MM of his $10MM 2019 base salary become fully guaranteed on Friday, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. That total was already guaranteed for injury only, and given that Chancellor hasn’t played since 2017 due to a neck injury, he was going to receive that money anyway. Seattle, which placed Chancellor on the physically unable to perform list in 2018, didn’t cut Chancellor last season due to salary cap ramifications, but they’ll likely do so later this offseason, per Henderson. Chancellor, meanwhile, doesn’t have any incentive to announce his retirement given that he’d forfeit money by doing so.
  • In case you missed it, the Bengals want to interview Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant for their defensive coordinator job.

Seahawks Place Chancellor On PUP List

Kam Chancellor‘s season is officially over, and so is his career. The Seahawks placed safety Kam Chancellor on the Reserve/PUP list on Thursday, formally ruling him out for the year. 

[RELATED: Kam Chancellor Announces Retirement]

After eight seasons with the Seahawks, Chancellor announced his retirement earlier this month. There was little doubt about his future, but the transaction means that the Seahawks have been forced to eat his $5.2MM injury guarantee for 2019. Chancellor is undoubtedly disappointed about how things have turned out, but he won’t be hurting for cash as he leaves the club with $12MM in guaranteed cash for the ’18 and ’19 seasons.

Chancellor missed nearly half of last season with a neck injury and was unable to get the greenlight from doctors this year. His nine appearances in 2017 marked a career low. Chancellor missed 16 combined games over the last three seasons after starting at least 14 games between 2011-14.

Chancellor leaves Seattle as one of the club’s most accomplished defensive players of all time. As a pivotal part of the “Legion of Boom,” Chancellor earned four Pro Bowl nods and helped the club to its first Super Bowl win following the 2013 season.

Reactions To Kam Chancellor’s Unofficial Retirement

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. WrightBobby WagnerEarl 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.

Seahawks S Kam Chancellor To Retire

After eight seasons with the Seahawks, Kam Chancellor is announcing his retirement. An essential component of the famed Legion of Boom secondary will walk away from the game after being diagnosed with a severe neck injury last year.

Chancellor announced (via Twitter) he’s stepping away because of the injury. He turned 30 in April and played all eight of his NFL seasons in Seattle, where he became one of the NFL’s best safeties.

This doesn’t qualify as an official retirement, though, with NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reporting (via Twitter) Chancellor merely isn’t medically cleared to play and is walking away because of it. This detail matters because of his contract.

The hard-hitting defender said earlier this year he planned to play in 2018 if he received medical clearance. He was due to undergo additional medical testing in June but said Sunday doctors did not see any improvement on his latest scan.

Pete Carroll indicated on multiple occasions Chancellor may be forced to walk away because of the injury he sustained midway through last season. The safety had also lost a considerable amount of weight, with Rapoport tweeting he was down at around 200 pounds recently. So, this was not an unexpected conclusion.

This will represent the latest exit of a top-flight Seahawk.

Teaming with Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and a succession of right cornerbacks, the Seahawks formed an all-time great secondary. It helped the franchise to five straight playoff berths, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. Chancellor played in 14 playoff games, the first of which coming after his 2010 rookie season when the Seahawks stunned the Saints in the wild-card round. Those two games would be the last two postseason tilts that featured Chancellor as a backup.

He started the next 12 playoff contests for the Seahawks and served as a menacing presence on their back end. The Virginia Tech product earned four Pro Bowl berths and notched back-to-back 100-plus-tackle seasons — both occurring during campaigns that ended with the Seahawks celebrating NFC championships. He finished with 12 career interceptions and nine forced fumbles.

The Seahawks are going to be on the hook for $6.8MM this year because Chancellor was on the roster after February 10. And since this is not an official retirement, Chancellor is due $5.2MM guaranteed in 2019, Rapoport notes.

Chancellor lobbied frequently for a new contract after seeing lesser-acclaimed safeties sign better deals, and the Seahawks finalized one with him in August of last year. Chancellor signed a three-year, $36MM deal and was the first of the LOBers to sign a third Seattle pact. He saw $13MM in fully guaranteed money because of that August re-up.

This injury, unfortunately, won’t allow him to reach the first season on that extension.

Now, the Seahawks will enter the 2018 season without Chancellor, Sherman, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril from their once-formidable defense. Only Thomas remains in the secondary, with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright still around from the glory years at linebacker. Avril has not yet announced his retirement from what Carroll also said could be a career-ending neck injury, but he’s a free agent now after the Seahawks released him.

NFC Notes: Collins, Giants, Chancellor, Seahawks, Panthers

In a recent column, Geoff Mosher of Thescore.com talked about Giants All-Pro safety Landon Collins, how he’ll adjust to new defensive coordinator James Bettcher‘s scheme, and how it might impact Collins’ potential contract extension.

Mosher writes that since Bettcher blitzes heavily, his scheme will require Collins to play a lot of man coverage, something that isn’t his strong suit. Mosher opines that the Giants may decide Collins isn’t as impactful as he once was in the new scheme, and that they don’t want to pay him top-safety dollar, around $12-13MM annually, when his contract expires after this year.

Mosher notes that the Giants will want to see how Collins adapts to the change in his role throughout the offseason but says “the longer the Giants wait, the more they risk Collins opting to test free agency.” It’ll be interesting to watch how this plays out, and if the Giants opt not to lock Collins up, he’ll be one of the biggest names on the market in March of 2019.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The Seahawks “don’t appear to be counting” on Kam Chancellor to play this season, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Chancellor has insisted that he wants to play, but Condotta doesn’t think doctors will be able to clear Chancellor from his neck injury. The Seahawks have already lost many pieces of their formerly legendary defense, and it looks like Chancellor will be the next to go, as Condotta notes the Seahawks have already made “aggressive” moves to replace Chancellor at safety.
  • Wide receiver D.J. Moore, the 24th overall pick by the Panthers, still hasn’t signed. He’s likely holding out for all four years of his contract to be guaranteed, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Person thinks Moore is waiting to see what Isaiah Wynn, taken one pick before Moore, gets from the Patriots before signing his deal.
  • Person thinks locking up offensive tackle Daryl Williams to an extension is a “priority” for the team. Person writes that he’d “be mildly surprised if general manager Marty Hurney doesn’t get a deal done by the start of the season” for the top-flight tackle who played every offensive snap for the team last season.

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Austin, Vikings, Spence

The Seahawks released defensive end Cliff Avril with a failed physical designation yesterday, but it doesn’t sound like the decision was an easy one. Speaking with reporters following the first day of rookie minicamp, coach Pete Carroll reflected on the veteran’s impact on the organization.

“He’s been a great leader. He’s been a bit of a statesman for us. He always says the right thing, stands for the right stuff and been a really high character guy that you can always count on,” said Carroll (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “A great competitor in the program. I love him and would like to keep him connected with our club as long as we can because he’s just exactly what you hope to represent you. He’s had a great career with us.”

Avril, 32, said he wants to continue his NFL career.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Speaking of injured Seahawks, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets that safety Kam Chancellor has more neck scans scheduled in June. The veteran landed on the injured reserve last season due to an unspecified neck injury, and reports indicated that the 30-year-old may be forced to retire.
  • The Rams bailed on wideout Tavon Austin, sending him to the Cowboys for a sixth-rounder. While the receiver never lived up to his four-year, $42MM contract, his former organization doesn’t believe his tenure was a failure. “[The deal] was never necessarily to be, hey, a No. 1 receiver,” said general manager Les Snead (via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez). “But he was a weapon for us on special teams and in the offense. He led our team in touchdowns, and he had a lot of special-teams touchdowns called back. He was just a unique weapon on offense.”
  • The Vikings re-signed veteran cornerback Terence Newman last week, and Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune has details on the new deal (via Twitter). The 39-year-old will earn a $1.015MM base salary and a $90K workout bonus. However, there’s no guaranteed money, and the contract accounts for a $720K cap hit.
  • The undisclosed 2019 pick that the Lions acquired from the Dolphins in the Akeem Spence trade is a conditional seventh-rounder, tweets ESPN’s Field Yates. Miami originally acquired the selection in the deal that sent Jarvis Landry to the Browns.

Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor Plans To Play

Kam Chancellor has hinted that he might retire on social media, but that’s apparently not in the cards just yet. The Seahawks safety plans to play in 2018 if he gains medical clearance, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Chancellor’s $6.8MM salary became fully guaranteed last week, so the Seahawks are intent on moving forward with him. It’s still not a slam dunk that Chancellor will get the green light from doctors, however. The veteran missed nearly half of 2017’s games with a neck injury and that comes with a greater risk than, say, a twisted ankle.


Back in January, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hinted that Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril could be forced to hang ’em up. Despite his assessment, both players are still intent on playing. In January, Avril announced his intentions to continue, but it’s quite possible that the Seahawks will release him anyway in order to save $7.5MM against the cap.

Chancellor’s nine appearances last season marked a career low since the Seahawks took him in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. Between 2011-14, the four-time Pro Bowler started at least 14 games and recorded at least 65 tackles within Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.” He’s missed 16 games over the last three seasons.

Seattle’s vaunted secondary may be disbanded before too long as Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are both due to become unrestricted free agents next offseason. Chancellor isn’t set to become a free agent until after the 2020 season. Cornerback Byron Maxwell and safety Bradley McDougald will hit unrestricted free agency this offseason. The Seahawks allowed 209.2 yards per game through the air last season, which ranked sixth-best in the NFL.