On Thursday the Seattle Seahawks lost two iconic players, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and strong safety Kam Chancellor. While fans had the last year to get used to the idea of life after Bam Bam Kam, losing ABD (Angry Doug Baldwin) on the same day was a double punch to the gut.
I feel like I have written a lot of these articles lately. My first was my article about cornerback Richard Sherman leaving Seattle. Truly one of the hardest articles I’ve ever had to write. I’ve written about free safety Earl Thomas also leaving the team and what that meant going forward. But this one is different. These aren’t players that decided to chase a dollar amount, which I totally support so don’t come at me, but the game taking such a toll that injuries require them to move on. Men, who by all accounts, are young and in their primes.
Snakebit. Injury bug. Plain old bad luck. Whatever you want to call it, whatever your favorite term, the San Francisco 49’ers has it. Due to injuries, the promise of the 2018 season, one that looked so bright in the offseason, seems to have lost its luster.
Every team goes through it at some point. Players seem to go down week after week with season-ending injuries. Once it gets started it’s like a train that cant’ be stopped. For San Francisco, injuries hit early and quick.
Obviously, the biggest hit was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who had just gotten a 5 year, $137 million contract. Garoppolo was expected to be the second coming of Joe Montana and was proving he was worth every dime. Then in the third game of the season, he took off for a 13-yard run, sliding at the end. Unfortunately, that slide caused a torn ACL. San Francisco was then forced to go with backup QB C.J. Beathard for the rest of the season.
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.
(One of the great things about working for Our Turf football is we don’t require writers to turn off their emotion when writing. We ask them to be objective, fair, and respectful, yet we never ask them to stop loving their team. Today I’m writing purely from a fan’s point of view. Indulge me, if you will. -DO)
In the mind, it makes sense.
Logically, one can see why the Seattle Seahawks needed to let veteran, Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman test free agency. The Seahawks were desperately needing some cap space. Sherman, now 30 years old, is coming off two Achilles tendon surgeries. My mind gets it. My heart, however…
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.
Over a week has passed since the end of the Seattle Seahawks 2017 season. To say that this year has been tumultuous would not even raise an eyebrow in Seattle. The Seahawks were making news, whether it was good, bad, polarizing, thought-provoking, and outrageous, off or on the field.
But that it wasn’t any different than any other year under head coach Pete Carroll. So why did this season end in disappointment? Not the sudden devastation of losing a playoff game, but a slow death-rattle-like loss of identity. As the season progressed, we kept waiting; waiting for something to turn, something to change. When the season ended, it looked like nothing changed.
Last January, after they were eliminated from the playoffs, the main concerns were the offensive line and the running game. But the kicking game became surprisingly unpredictable too.
Seahawks went to fix the concerns that followed them into the off-season by signing kicker Blair Walsh. They continued to acquire free agents like running back Eddie Lacy. Before the regular season began Seahawks traded wide receiver Jermaine Kearse to New York Jets for defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
We’ve come to the time of the year when we take time in our lives to be thankful for all we have. Reflect on our lives, our family, our friendships, and our football teams. Yes, I said football teams.
Whether you are a fan of college, professional, or both, enough weeks have gone by that you know what your team is made of. For some fans, that is a happy place to reflect. Others…eh maybe not so much. So on this Thanksgiving morning, I’m going to spend some time reminding myself, and hopefully, you also, what we Seattle Seahawks fans have to be thankful for.
The Seahawks won. It doesn’t feel like it though. They paid a high price. There was a sense that this was a must-win game after last Sunday, but no one could have expected this. At least 7 Seahawks were injured. The most notable, safety Richard Sherman out for the rest of the year with a ruptured Achilles. Strong safetyKam Chancellor left the game with a stinger, left tackleDuane Brown (ankle), defensive tackleJarran Reed (hamstring), safetyShaquill Griffin (shoulder), and running backC.J. Prosise (ankle).
This game was exciting, astonishing, breathtaking, dangerous, dramatic, intriguing, moving, stimulating, thrilling, electrifying, eye-popping, and mind-blowing. Or just fun. Maybe not every moment was fun, but on a whole, this game was fun.
I say that now because the Seahawks came out on top of the Texans 41 to 38. I can also say that because my heart rate has gone back to normal and I found another stash of rubber bands for the next game.
Both quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson were the talk of the game. From the opening drive where Watson threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Will Fuller V, achieving something that has not been done against Seahawks defense this year. To the last scoring drive of the game where Wilson came up with another signature save.
After another slow start with a score of 9-7 at the end of the first half, the only Titans’ scores coming from three field goals from place kicker Ryan Succop; the Titans finally got the train rollin’ in the third quarter. In that respect, this game was eerily similar to the previous game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with very little action in the beginning and then a whole lot of excitement at the end.
The best Tennessee plays in the beginning ended up being taken away. Wide receiver Eric Decker made a great sideline catch with some “toe drag swag” as Good Morning Football Show would say, keeping his toes in bounds and getting a first down during the first quarter. Decker would later be called for a holding penalty so a touchdown run by quarterback Marcus Mariota was called back.
Cornerback Adoree Jackson had an 80 yard punt return for a touchdown that was overturned due to an illegal block by running back David Fluellen in the second quarter. The call was a bit on the “iffy” side in my opinion. It looked like Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin actually ran into Fluellen, but I’m not an NFL referee. Sure would have been lovely to have those two touchdowns light a fire for the Titans.