Will the Seahawks end up overpaying for Chancellor?

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Kam Chancellor #31 and Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Kam Chancellor #31 and Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /


Most of you who know me understand that I am a very positive thinking guy. I normally believe that rain is a good thing and that win lose or draw, the Seahawks are winners. Having said all of that, what I am posting below has absolutely nothing to do with Kam as a man, nor as a leader. As a freelance writer, I can say things that would probably garner clicks. Since I don’t get paid to do this, just know I don’t say things to get paid. I say them because I do the research and I believe in what I learn.

Getting paid for the future

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about which Seahawk free agents John Schneider should re-sign. I based this on what the average NFL career span is and worked backwards to see if any of our guys deserve to be on this team. The moves he’s made so far as Seahawks GM should’ve coveted some type of Executive of the Year award. But since his way of thinking and doing can be considered ‘abnormal,’ those who make award decisions don’t even look John’s way each year.

Schneider decided to re-sign Kam “The Enforcer” Chancellor. This has most 12s giddy about the future with Kam and Earl Thomas together in the defensive backfield for at least the next two years. Most who cover sports and cover contracts in sports know that GMs aren’t spending money based on what the player did but what the player will do; there’s a big difference.

Chancellor received a contract that makes me question the overall value for a player of his age and experience. He is entering his eighth season. On paper, he got three years and 36 million clams. This is good value for the team. He is now the third-highest paid safety (per Overthecap.com), slightly behind Eric Berry’s $13 million per season and Tyrann Mathieu’s $12.5 million per.

Health, as always, is a concern

The average career span for a safety is 5.2 years. I am no one to be calling Kam average. But in a league that thirsts physicality (and boy, has Chancellor unleashed a flurry of hits on opposing offensive players over the years), shouldn’t we take note of how much longer Chancellor can play?

He’s also coming off an off-season where he had two ankle surgeries (that took most of us 12s by shock). At age 29, we’ll see how long those two surgeries will last.

If I, the most positive, the-stadium-is-half-full kind of guy is saying that this maybe wasn’t a good move, how do I back that up? I mean, come on, it’s Kam Chancellor. The man, the myth, …Godzilla as I once called him. Could you imagine him being in a Rams or Raiders or even Cowboys uniform? Of course not, I would probably throw up if I ever saw that.

Statistically, I could argue that Chancellor saw the writing on the wall with his health as early as 2011. The only thing I have to go by is his on-field statistics. I think his statistics and his level of physicality on the field diminished because of his awareness of his health. When was the last time you saw him hit a player like he did in 2011 when he absolutely crushed the 49ers’ Vernon Davis?

Again, I love Chancellor and I am happy to see him back in a uniform and all smiles again.

That said, he’s been a bit of a Debbie Downer the past few seasons since his holdout in 2015. Mainly, I think he is/was worried about his long-term health. Don’t get me wrong, I hope that Kam (and all the guys) make it out of their careers not having to slurp their food through straws at age 40 and older.

I think the signing of an aging DB/S, the fact that the tread on the tires are worn almost to the nub and that he’s got some mental fears that may hold him back, makes this a very risky signing.

Sure, there’s the unwritten messages that the signing creates:

  1. The Seahawks brass taking care of their own
  2. The front office making good on re-signing him to a long term contract after telling him so in 2015 to get him to come back to the team
  3. Securing one of the NFL’s top 100 players and one of the NFL’s feared players
  4. Ensuring there is leadership in the locker room for the new LOB-Version 2.0 that the team just drafted

All of that is well-and-good. But if the third highest player on the team (behind Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman) doesn’t pan out to at least 90 percent of what he’s done for the team in the past OR if he decides he doesn’t want to mentor the young DBs on the team, this signing may induce the team to think twice about Sherman and Thomas. Those two players’ contracts are up in the next few years as well.

Personally, I do thank Kam for all that he’s done and I really do wish him well in next few seasons. I could see him becoming a coach after his contract is up. I just hope that statistics are wrong and that he will defy the odds and that the money that the Seahawks spent doesn’t backfire where Seattle could’ve used it on shoring up more important needs. Like the offensive line.

Chancellor’s contract

Kam’s contract calls for $25 million guaranteed, a little over $8 million will be counted against the 2017 cap. He will make $12 million this season. According to Sportrac.com, the market value for Chancellor’s projected performance in comparison to other strong safeties is only $9.2 million per season.

This is a significant difference of 25 percent! This means that it’s very possible (based on statistics) that Kam may be overpaid based on what he’s done versus other ‘similar’ players. The key performance indicators Sportrac.com is using are: Games Played (-17%), solo tackles/game (-23%), interceptions/game (41%), passes defended (10%), Cover catch/game (-2.6%), Average Rating (9%).

This means that other teams are, for the most part, getting more ‘bang for their buck’ based on the ‘on-field’ statistics (games played and solo tackles). The Seahawks are in fact getting a tremendous value at his interceptions/game, however, as well as passes defended.

Leadership matters

Again, what the key performance indicators doesn’t track are the intangible things like leadership, communication and opponents’ fear factor in catching a ball in front of him. Are these intangible performance indicators worth $3 million per season?

We all saw what happened in the five games Chancellor was out in 2015 and how the opposing offenses were able to run and throw the ball against our defense. I would guess-timate that the intangibles are worth at least half of the $3 million per season.

Related Story: Projecting the Seahawks roster Version 3.0

So did the Seahawks overpay Kam?

I am deducing that they did. Was it a mistake that they re-signed an aging strong safety who, based on history, shows us that those aging players decline in their latter part of their career? No, I don’t think it was a mistake. Some of the great Super Bowl teams had aging safeties who weren’t lights out near the end of their careers, but did just enough inside the locker room or on the field to covet the big bucks they got later in their careers.

I’m sure I’ll get hate mail for this piece, but as my new book “TRUTH” talks about, I speak the truth and I live my truth without fear. I, like the man I’m talking about, fear no one and take no prisoners.

Go ‘Hawks!