Kam Chancellor Needs to Retire as a Member of Seahawks
By Lee Vowell
Chancellor is an unrestricted free agent after 2017
As the NFL Network tweeted, Kam Chancellor had the second lowest passer rating when opposing quarterbacks targeted him in 2016. While Chancellor is excellent in pass coverage, he is so much more than that. As all 12s know, Chancellor is a punishing tackler, causing fear in opposing receivers.
Chancellor is entering the final year of his current contract with Seattle. In 2017, Chancellor will be the highest paid strong safety in the league at a little more than $8 million. If he were to keep his current pay rate, he would rank third among strong safeties in 2018. The highest paid player in 2018 at his position would be Reshad Jones of the Miami Dolphins. Jones will make $11,575,000. In 2019, Jones will earn $14,955,000. Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson will also make more in 2018 than Chancellor makes in 2017 at $8.5 million. Jefferson’s cap hit in 2019 will be $10.5 million.
Taking a chance on Chancellor
The question for the Seahawks for signing Chancellor to an extension is two-fold. First, what is his worth for three-to-four years beyond 2017? Secondly, does Seattle trust that Chancellor will be healthy enough to play out a contract extension?
The answer to the first question, based on Chancellor’s peers at his pay rate, is he is as good, if not better, than his peers. The answer to the second question is more unknown.
The second question is a bit of a misnomer. Should a team base its contract value on whether a player will stay healthy? Or should the team base what it pays on the expected performance of a player? For the Seahawks, Chancellor was outstanding in 2016, but played hurt in 2015. The Chancellor of 2015 was not the Chancellor we know. Nor should the 2015 version be the one 12s expect.
When Chancellor is out for games, the Seahawks suffer. There is no reason to think that Chancellor cannot play at a high level for the next several seasons. The Seahawks need to sign Chancellor to an extension. Seattle should take advantage of the core players it has and who are young enough to stay together for the next three-to-four years. The Seahawks can be a Super Bowl contender for the foreseeable future, but they need to retain Chancellor to make sure they are.