Kam Chancellor’s neck injury has ended his football career and it may equal an actual fortune for Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
The once vaunted “Legion of Boom” is disintegrating before our very eyes. The latest blow to the Seahawks defense is the news that Kam Chancellor wasn’t medically cleared to return from a neck injury and his football career is likely over.
He’s not calling it a retirement, as he’ll be paid for the upcoming season, but this could have deeper ramifications. His injury may force Seattle to rethink their stance about offering a big money deal to safety Earl Thomas.
Chancellor took to social media to inform Seahawks fans that it’s “time for the next chapter” in his career. He didn’t specifically mention retirement, but it sure sounds like his time on the gridiron is over. The news that his latest medical test showed “no healing” in his neck certainly means he won’t be playing football this year, if ever again.
That puts Pete Carroll and company in a tough spot. Chancellor’s current backup on the depth chart is Mo Alexander. He showed some promise early in his career with the Rams but was eventually cut by the team for his declining play on the field. The Seahawks coaching staff is hopeful they can rejuvenate his career, but his ceiling likely tops out at being an adequate starter once again.
That makes Thomas the team’s best bet to solidify their backline. The team could always elect to dip into free agency to replace Chancellor, but the players still available on the open market are typically there for a reason. They’re all flawed in one way or another.
Thomas’ only flaw at the moment is his age. The fact that he’s 29-years-old makes offering him a long-term deal a serious gamble for the Seahawks. Prior to the news about Chancellor, the team was playing hardball with their talented safety. At various times this offseason it seemed the Seahawks would rather trade Thomas than hand him the big money contract he is looking for.
Losing his partner in the secondary will likely change the Seahawks’ way of thinking. Don’t expect them to rush to the negotiating table and make Thomas a lucrative offer, but it’s reasonable to think they’ll pick up the phone and contact his representatives.
If the Seahawks front office is smart, they’ll try to tie Thomas down with a rich deal that doesn’t force them to commit to Thomas for more than three additional seasons. A three-year deal, starting somewhere around $12 million sounds pretty fair. Ironically, that’s exactly the figure Seattle was scheduled to pay Chancellor this season.
In the end, Chancellor’s injury is a blow to everyone in the Seahawks organization. The only person who might profit in any way is Earl Thomas. He might get paid as a result of his teammates’ serious injury.