Kam Chancellor’s holdout has ended, which is great news for the Seahawks. The bad news for Chancellor, however, is that the Seahawks can fine him more than $1 million. That is the accumulation of a $30,000 daily penalty for missing training camp, as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
This is in addition to the roughly $535,000 in game checks that the Seahawks have retained due to Chancellor’s holdout.
What do we make of all this? What do we make of the money that Chancellor has already lost and could lose going forward?
“In terms of the fine, all of that is at team discretion,” Seattle Times Seahawks writer Bob Condotta said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “So he could get fined some of it, all of it, none of it. My understanding is he will get fined some of it. Obviously the paychecks are something that technically he wouldn’t get. Theoretically, the team could still give it to him in some manner if they wanted to. Obviously there’s some working on the salary cap and things like that, but there’s some things they could do to make him whole on that. They did that a couple years ago when they did that with Brandon Browner when he got suspended. So at the moment, I’d be really reluctant to read black and white into the numbers on that. I think they’re going to work that out, figure some things out. I don’t think they’ll waive all of the fines. I think they’ll waive some of them.”
As for Chancellor’s contract, nobody knows. The Virginia Teach product signed a four-year, $28-million extension after the 2012 season. Chancellor wanted to renegotiate with three years remaining on the deal, but the Seahawks refused, saying it would lead to numerous players seeking to renegotiate in the early stages of their contracts.
Chancellor has not indicated when, or if, he and the franchise will revisit his contract.
“He wanted a brand-new contract,” Condotta said. “He wanted them to rip it up and give him a new deal. When it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen, he did ask for some money to be moved. One of the things that really led to this is he’s 27 years old, he has three years remaining on his deal, and the cap number really goes up the next two years. The Seahawks have a history of getting rid of guys before the cap goes up. Lots of teams do, but the Seahawks do. Kam Chancellor saw them cut Red Bryant, who was the defensive team captain when they won the Super Bowl, about three weeks after they won the Super Bowl because Red Bryant’s contract was really going to go up. The cap number was going to go up hugely in the last couple of years and they wanted out from that cap number. Chancellor has already gotten every guaranteed dollar in the contract that he signed in 2013 already. So what he was hoping to do was get some money moved forward or moved backward from 2017 to 2016 so he could be assured of getting it. And what he could do then is say ‘Okay, I’m going to get this money guaranteed and then I can renegotiate a deal probably after this year when the team might be more amenable to doing it.’”
As of now, however, the Seahawks hold all the cards.
“There’s no more guaranteed money,” Condotta said. “They could cut him tomorrow and owe him nothing. That was really at the heart of this, from my understanding. They cut Red Bryant like that. They cut Chris Clemons like that. They cut Sidney Rice like that. He saw them do some things with some guys where they knew they could get out from that. Lots of NFL contracts are structured that way, but the Seahawks definitely have been structured that way – where the cap number goes up usually at the end, and then after they’ve paid all the guaranteed money, then they can release the guy. Then there’s no cap hit. They’ve paid him all the money and they can kind of move on.
“Chancellor has base salaries of about $5.5 million and $6 million the next two years,” Condotta continued. “He knew he’d get this year’s, but he had zero assurances of getting the 2016 and 2017. But what he was hoping to do, again, is if he got some ’17 money moved to ’16 – and get that guaranteed – he would get that money and he could also maybe then force a renegotiation or a restructuring where he would likely get a bonus and get some guaranteed money as well.”