According to the NFL’s Ian Rapoport, Kam Chancellor of the Seahawks is reportedly unhappy with his contract and considering the option of holding out in order to get a raise. Chancellor had signed a $7 million per year contract extension in 2013 and this is technically just the second year of the four year extension, which runs through 2017. Chancellor is the second player unhappy with his contract in Seattle (Michael Bennett is the other) and the third looking for a raise (along with Russell Wilson).
Teams rarely renegotiate contracts for veteran players with multiple years remaining, especially those with more than two years. My feeling is that Seattle may have set a bad precedent last season with Marshawn Lynch, who threatened a hold out with two years remaining on his contract. Lynch was deemed very important to the Seahawks offense and quickly the Seahawks gave Lynch a small raise of $1 million. Lynch had two years remaining on his contract when he considered holding out.
When Chancellor signed his contract in 2013, it was a fair contract for the time. If I remember correctly, his deal ranked fourth among veteran players in annual value, behind Dashon Goldson, Eric Weddle, and Antrel Rolle. He still ranks 7th among veteran players and first among “second” safeties (second highest compensated on the team), so in that respect they are paying him a pretty high number.
His contract now has fallen behind that of teammate Earl Thomas, Devin McCourty, Jairus Byrd, and Reshad Jones in addition to the Weddle and Goldson deals. At the time he signed the latter two deals were considered top of the market at about $8 million per year. If Chancellor was led to believe (or simply believed) that this was going to around the market rate as the next group of safeties signed a contract he likely considered himself to be worth 80-85% of the top of the market, clearly being a 1A to Thomas’ eventual 1 status.
However, by the next year those top salaries exploded and the Seahawks eventually extended Thomas at $10 million a year, bringing Chancellor from 85% of the market to 70%, which is a big drop in one season. Considering Thomas is on the Seahawks, in terms of salary disparity that drops Chancellor in the internal pecking order from a 1A to a clear 2. So that may be a cause for concern.
If Chancellor fails to report for a few days he can be subject to fines and bonus forfeiture.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.