These days it seems every big name on the Seattle Seahawks is getting paid and deservedly so, starting with Russell Wilson's four year, $87.6 million extension which was immediately followed up by middle linebacker Bobby Wagner's four year $43 million extension. Another big contract added to the salary cap this offseason was the acquisition of superstar tight-end, Jimmy Graham whose salary comes in at roughly $9 million a year. Which leads us to the most feared/hardest hitting safety in the entire league and our fellow Hokie, Kam Chancellor, who is currently holding out from training camp and has been a no-show thus far until his contract is re-evaluated by management, but after reading the MMQB posted earlier this week by the great Peter King, the odds are not in his favor.
As King lays out the details, the Seahawks are paying 10 players on their roster a staggering $97.38 million a year leaving a meager $50 million (roughly) to pay the other 43 players on the opening day 53-man roster. The roster trimming and penny pinching has already begun for the franchise as starting defensive tackle, Tony McDaniel was recently cut in order to save $2.5 million on the cap for 2015.
The cost cutting measures won’t stop there as the worst kept secret in the NFL is that 2015 may be Marshawn Lynch’s final year with the Seahawks which could save the team additional cap room in the future, but good luck filling the production he’s provided since 2011.
Making matters even more difficult for Chancellor’s negotiations is Russell Okung’s pending free agency starting in 2016 and the mammoth left tackle will command a hefty raise squeezing the numbers even tighter if they do decide to extend him.
So where does this leave Chancellor and what is his primary argument for a new contract with more guaranteed money? First, as Richard Sherman most eloquently told reporters earlier this week there is a 100 percent injury rate in the NFL and that figure impacted Chancellor in the Super Bowl against the Patriots as he basically played on one leg with a partially torn MCL in his knee. Secondly, Chancellor’s 2015 annual salary or cap hit to the Seahawks is a reasonable $5,650,000 which ranks 11th amongst all other safeties in the NFL. It’s easy to look at the names ranked ahead of Chancellor and claim he is far superior, but the NFL determines a player’s value ultimately by team and scheme. Playing with one of the best centerfield safeties in the entire NFL (Earl Thomas) allows Chancellor to be the one of the top in-the-box safeties in the league. Put Chancellor on a team without an Earl Thomas like free safety and he might look like a fish out of water being exposed as a saftey with limited coverage abilities in open space.
As a fellow Hokie I'm hoping Chancellor gets the raise and financial security he rightly deserves but the harsh truth may be that that raise may have to come with another team as the Seahawks have plenty of issues as is with the salary cap.