Life of a Sports Fan


Seth Marvin-Vanderryn, Sports Editor

Growing up we’ve all heard the phrase: “You’re only as good as your word.” Well, the ageless phrase was put to the test in Seattle this offseason and even up till a couple weeks ago, where strong safety Kam Chancellor tried to back out of the five-year, $33 million contract he signed in 2013.

After just two years under a contract he willingly signed, Chancellor wanted out, reportedly seeking a salary of $9 million in 2016, four million more than he was scheduled to make. He informed Seattle that he wouldn’t play unless the Seahawks give him a new contract. The Seahawks need him on the field, and during training camp the team offered him $8.1 million for the 2016 season. He rejected the offer, missing all of training camp, preseason, and the first two weeks of the regular season.

The Seahawks badly needed the three time pro bowler on the field, but cap space is precious and giving in would then set the precedent to players that they can back out of contracts and receive more money than originally agreed upon.

The NFL is notorious for extreme injuries that affect players long after retirement, leading to large medical bills. In addition, the average pro player only plays for 3-6 years, so many players try to make as much as possible during their careers to help them later in life. This is very understandable, but Chancellor went about it the wrong way. The NFL is a business and Chancellor’s methods are not how business is conducted. If someone willingly signs a contract, like Chancellor did, they can’t then change their mind and refuse to work until their demands are met. That is how toddlers act, and as a captain of the team it isn’t setting the right example.

Although he may have expenses after he is retired, it’s not as if he isn’t making money. $33 million is a very large amount of money that, if budgeted appropriately, could easily let him live comfortably for the rest of his life–let alone the millions he made before this contract, the millions he will make in his next contract and the millions he makes in endorsements. He wants a new contract because, obviously, he wants more money. So it’s ironic that he sat out games, because each game he sat out he lost $267,000.

Chancellor should have swallowed his pride earlier and recognized that he made a commitment to the Seahawks organization, his teammates and the fans two years ago. Leaders are supposed to help navigate others through distractions, not create them. After he signed the contract in 2013, Chancellor said, “Negations are negotiations, things are going to be up and down, be a bumpy road. At the end of the day it’s done. That’s all that matters at the end.” You’re only as good as your word, Kam.