Kam Chancellor hints at retirement in Instagram post
Kam Chancellor suffered a neck injury in November 2017 and may never play professional football again. That's been the case for a few months now, but Chancellor has been tight-lipped about his future since the injury, his strongest statement coming in the form of an Instagram post Friday morning.
Chancellor posted an illustration of himself in street clothes, walking next to -- away from? -- a Seahawks logo. The caption was essentially blank, aside from a string of periods.
(It's fair to assume this is just a random social media post that has nothing to do with Chancellor's career plans, but it's 2018 and it's borderline irresponsible to completely ignore these kinds of things; social media is how athletes express themselves these days.)
The 29-year-old strong safety spent weeks consulting specialists after the stinger he suffered on Nov. 9 ended his season. Surgery was not required, but Pete Carroll hasn't been optimistic about Chancellor's return and in early January the coach said it would be difficult for Chancellor -- and defensive end Cliff Avril, also dealing with a potential career-ending neck injury -- to ever play football again.
The decision is up to Chancellor, Carroll has said on multiple occasions. That Instagram post could mean Chancellor has his mind made up, and will call it quits this offseason.
That wouldn't be wise for Chancellor, however, from a financial standpoint.
In August Chancellor signed a three-year, $36 million extension worth $25 million guaranteed -- $12 million of that guaranteed for injury. As CBS Sports salary cap writer Joel Corry penned recently, that was the worst contract extension a team handed out in 2017.
If Chancellor were to retire this offseason due to injury, he'd be doing himself a financial disservice and, in turn, doing the Seahawks a solid. Because retirement would be considered a breach of the contract agreement, according to Corry, Seattle wouldn't have to pay Chancellor that $12 million in guaranteed injury money.
"Chancellor would potentially be putting the final $6.2 million payment of his $10 million signing bonus, which he is set to receive on April 1, in jeopardy as well," Corry wrote. "The Seahawks would be entitled to collect $7.5 million of the $10 million signing bonus that was allocated to the salary cap in Chancellor's 2018 through 2020 contract years. Bonus money wasn't collected from Marshawn Lynch during his one-year retirement after the 2015 season."
Still, it's clear that Chancellor's injury could potentially have a negative impact on his life after football, so perhaps he could view his overall long-term health as a more essential asset than his guaranteed salary.
However, those aren't Chancellor's only options. As Corry wrote, Chancellor could privately decide he's done with football, while choosing to stay on the roster and give rehab a try, then force Seattle to cut him and give him the money he's owed if he's not medically cleared.
Chancellor's cryptic social media post could be meaningless. Or it could be the first indication that founding member of the Legion of Boom is done, igniting a series of events that drastically impact Seattle's future.
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