Kam Chancellor is still technically an NFL player, remaining on Seattle’s roster for now for salary cap reasons. That will almost certainly end by the time the 2019 regular season rolls around and the Seahawks officially remove Chancellor from the roster.
So what will Chancellor do then?
Some have wondered if he’d want to enter coaching, given how numerous teammates cited his mentorship during his years with the Seahawks.
But for now, Chancellor said that’s not in the plans.
“So I never close any doors,’’ Chancellor said in an interview on KJR-AM 950 Wednesday with former teammate Cliff Avril. “I always keep everything open because you never now where life is going to take you. But right now I don’t see it.”
Chancellor, who appeared along with another former teammate, Richard Sherman, on the Cliff and Puck Show, hasn’t spoken much publicly since suffering a neck/nerve injury on Nov 9, 2017, at Arizona that ended his career.
In an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle last September before raising the 12th man flag, Chancellor said he has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which he described as a buildup of calcification behind his C-2 and C-3 vertebrae, and also said he also has bone spurs behind his C-2, C-3, C-4 and C-5 vertebrae.
Chancellor remained on the roster in 2018 because it would have been worse for the team’s salary cap situation to release him then — he was owed $6.8 million in injury guarantees in 2018 and will also get $5.2 million in injury guarantees in 2019.
But the team will make a move with Chancellor before the 2019 season, general manager John Schneider said at the NFL combine earlier this year.
“He knows,’’ Schneider said then. “It’s not a shock. He knows what’s going on. This is really a formality, for our salary-cap situation.”
Schneider said he hopes Chancellor will stay around the team: “Kam has been such a strong leader and such a strong presence for us. I mean, it was great having him around. He’s one of these guys he really didn’t realize he was a leader until his junior year in college and all these guys kept coming to him and asking him questions, whether it was about experiences off the field or on the field, just learning. He has been a pro’s pro.”
But Wednesday, Chancellor talked of his non-football interests — including having recently taken a welding class — and made it pretty clear he’s happy for now to explore a lot of those.
“I’ve got a lot of free time to do other things that I like to do with myself,’’ Chancellor said. “Work on business things that me and my wife are involved in. I get to expand my horizons a little more.’’
Asked if he was bored without football, Chancellor said “not at all. All my life was straight focused on football all year long for 22 years, so…’’
Asked the difference in his life without football, he said “I guess the only difference is I’m not in that much pain anymore.’’
For now, he plans to continue living in Seattle, having arrived in 2010 as a fifth-round pick out of Virginia Tech.
“I love the hikes,’’ Chancellor said. “I love the nature out here.’’