One of the biggest holdouts in the NFL is threatening to get worse with the start of the regular season just two days away.
Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor held out of training camp and preseason to demand a new contract, and there is a growing belief that Chancellor may miss the entire season:
#Seahawks planning as if holdout S Kam Chancellor won't play, one telling me, "I don't think we're going to have him at all this season."
— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) September 8, 2015
If Chancellor’s holdout continues into the season, the team can fine him $267,647 for every game he misses.
Werder reported on ESPN that the Seahawks reaction to Chancellor’s holdout has been a collective shrug, with one player saying, “They will just collect his salary until he folds.”
“It’s a lose-lose for him,” another source told Werder.
Pete Carroll has said that 2014 undrafted safety Dion Bailey will start in Chancellor’s place if the holdout continues.
While the Seahawks seem unwilling to bend on giving Chancellor a raise, they’ll surely miss him on the field. Chancellor is one of the Seahawks’ most important players on defense, so much so that former Seahawk Michael Robinson said on NFL Network that Chancellor is so important to the Seahawks that the team should just pay him now:
“I know there are guys out there making plays for the Seahawks right now, but nobody’s Kam Chancellor. Nobody sets the tone physically like Kam Chancellor. Nobody sets the tone in that city (like him).”
“Sometimes you have to pay a guy what he’s worth. Maybe it is a little earlier, but you have to pay a guy what he’s worth to show the team look, we support a guy who’s putting in the hard work, we support what you’re doing, we support the dirty work that you do for us because, again, I was one of those guys for the Seahawks. Kam does the dirty work behind the scenes.”
After signing a contract extension in 2013, Chancellor’s deal is set to pay him over $19 million over the next three seasons. After a slew of big extensions for players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson, and Bobby Wagner this summer, Chancellor believes he should make more.
Unfortunately for him, the Seahawks have set a precedent in rewarding their top players when they’re due for a new contract. Paying Chancellor now would break that precedent, and complicate an increasingly hefty team payroll.
The staring contest continues and it will be interesting to see who blinks first – the Seahawks, missing Chancellor’s presence, or Chancellor, missing his paychecks.