Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor revealed in an interview with ESPN that he apologized to teammates Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas for his 2015 holdout.
Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor has pretty much tried to deflect any questions about his 2015 training camp holdout since he returned two games into that season (coach Pete Carroll memorably stood next to him during his initial press conference on his first day back).
But Chancellor made what are the most revealing comments about the holdout and its aftermath in a story that appears in the latest ESPN The Magazine, which Chancellor featured as part of the magazine’s NFL Chemistry theme.
Chancellor says of his holdout that “that was part of me coming into my own as a man and a leader, taking that stand.” The story says Chancellor “promised himself he would not return to Seattle until he received a better contract with more guaranteed money or until his teammates lost two games — whichever came first.”
Seattle’s 0-2 start prompted his return and Chancellor says “All year, that connection of the team just wasn’t there. This team revolves around a core of 10 or 11 guys, and when there’s division at the core, the whole team goes bad. I think guys just felt abandoned, like I hadn’t been there for them, and they had to suffer and lose games because of it.”
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Chancellor says in the story that he felt the two players most impacted by the holdout were cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. “If you think of it like we are brothers, then I was messing up that brotherly bond for the sake of money,” he says. “Those guys were really hurting.”
And it reports that Chancellor later personally apologized to each, not for the holdout itself but the way it had affected them.
“It was powerful,” Sherman is quoted as saying. “It cleared the air. He didn’t have to do it, but I think that apology showed how much respect he had for us and moved us all forward.”
The story also details some of the physical toll the game has taken on Chancellor and reports that he “was hospitalized for three days because of trauma and internal bleeding after the Super Bowl in February 2014” the game when the Seahawks beat Denver 43-8.