Kam Chancellor deserves the NFL Hall of Fame on the first ballot
Kam Chancellor would be one of a few pure strong safeties
The key factor to keep in mind here is that of those four players, only Chancellor was a pure strong safety. Lott played five seasons at cornerback, then moved to free safety. He only had two seasons as a strong safety.
Except for one season, Atwater played his entire career as a free safety. Reed comes closest to Chancellor in the position, as he played his first four seasons at strong safety before he moved to free safety. Clearly, the bulk of their awards came at positions other than Kam Chancellor’s.
There are currently 36 defensive backs in the NFL Hall of Fame. Just 16 of those are safeties. Of those, only five players played 90 percent of their snaps as strong safeties. That roster consists of Leroy Butler, Seahawks great Kenny Easley, Ken Houston, Donnie Shell, and Troy Polamalu. I’d run the stats for Easley, Houston, and Shell, but the NFL didn’t bother to keep such minor records as tackles. Seriously, how crazy is that? As for Butler and Polamalu, here are their numbers, along with Chancellor’s.
Tackles Total Solo Asst TFL Int FF FR
Butler 78.6 57.9 20.7 – 3.4 1.1 .9
Polamalu 79.0 59.0 20.3 5.7 3.2 1.4 .7
Chancellor 89.1 61.8 27.3 2.5 1.8 1.3 .4
Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t the primary job of a strong safety to make as many tackles as possible? They defend the run and the pass. With teammates like Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor didn’t have to worry about coverage as much as many of his contemporaries. And with Bam Bam patrolling the Seahawks secondary, the Legion of Boom was free to focus on shutting down the pass. I mean, where do you think the Legion of Boom got its name, anyway?
When you get around to matching up Kam Chancellor to truly comparable players, there simply aren’t that many of them. And after all, isn’t that what the Hall of Fame is supposed to be about, honoring the incomparable? Kam Chancellor was as unique a player as he is a man. Much of what he brought to the Seahawks didn’t show up in the record books. But he did more than enough to belong in the NFL Hall of Fame.