It was an announcement many expected, but no one was looking forward to. Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, a founding member of the famed Legion of Boom, has decided to step away from football.
It was November 10, 2017. It will become a day that Seahawks fans won’t ever forget simply because, now, it marks the end of an era. It was a typical hard knock game between division rivals. Seven players left the game between Seattle and Arizona due to injury. Two of those players were cornerback Richard Sherman and Chancellor. Neither will ever see a Seahawk uniform again.
Chancellor sustained a neck injury, a “stinger”, toward the end of that game. It’s the same injury that ended defensive end Cliff Avril’s career the same year. Head coach Pete Carroll said multiple times that it would be very hard to come back from this type of injury, but fans held out hope.
I’ll admit I can’t quit tearing up thinking about it. In fact, I’ve seen more people talk about how they cried during this draft than any other draft before. This one got us straight in the feels.
We all wanted our favorite team to draft linebacker Shaquem Griffin in this years NFL draft. We wanted to see his name called, for him to walk across that stage, and put on the hat that said our team’s name. For Seattle Seahawks fans, this want was even greater than most.
Seattle fans spent all last season in awe of a rookie with the last name of Griffin. After struggling just a bit at the beginning of the season, cornerback Shaquill Griffin not only won the starting CB position across from CB Richard Sherman, he nailed it. Seahawks finally had their bookend for Sherman. When Sherman got hurt and was out for the season, it was Shaquill Griffin who stepped up. He owned his position and became an instant fan favorite.
It has been several weeks since the Seahawks have made any news. At that time, the notable changes came by way of coaching personnel, but since then it has been quiet.
After this season was over, there was a lot of questions about key player decisions. Looking at the needs of the roster and the amount of cap room ($14,123,861 per overthecap.com), clearing up some cap space is needed. But where will it come from?
One of the options, strong safety Kam Chancellor’s future with the team, was answered already. The Seahawks allowed the Feb 9th roster deadline to come and go thereby guaranteeing his contract extension for 2018. The 3-year extension was signed in August 2017 before the regular season began. It included an injury clause that guaranteed his base salary.
Unless he chooses to retire, which it seems he plans to play, the Seahawks will have to pay his base salary of $5.2 million which will go against the cap space. At the time it was signed many critics thought it would hamstring the organization. In hindsight, that may have occurred.
This weekend was guaranteed not to be a typical weekend in the NFL. With the reaction to the harsh comments from President Trump, there was not going to be a business as usual attitude. From the outset, the game had a different feel, with both teams opting to stay in the locker room for the national anthem.
The defense began the game with performances that we have come to expect. They forced a three-and-out on the first drive. Defensive end Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson were among many notable participants in shutting down Tennessee. Then Seattle received the ball on their 20 to start their drive and that is where things began to get interesting. Seattle went three-and-out with the offensive line getting penalized three times, two holding penalties and one unnecessary roughness all on just one third down play.
From that moment, the game turned into a flag fest and both teams paid dearly. Tennessee had two touchdowns taken away and Seattle had a key interception by safety Kam Chancellor taken back because of defensive pass interference on cornerback Richard Sherman. This sparked outrage by Sherman who took off his helmet to continue arguing with the official, and that caused an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that took Tennessee from their 44-yard line to Seattle’s 25-yard line, for a gain of 31 yards.