Fans interviewed after the strong safety ended his holdout said Chancellor hurt the team by causing a distraction in the preseason and missing the first two games of the regular season.
The 12s don’t blame Kam Chancellor for trying to get more money. Most of the Seahawks fans who spoke to The Seattle Times said they understand football is a business, and Chancellor simply was trying to make a living. But that’s where their sympathies for him end.
Even though Chancellor rejoined the Seahawks on Wednesday morning, he appears to have work to do if he hopes to win back the respect of some Seahawks fans. Chancellor seemed to have lost some support the day the regular season began and he adamantly continued his holdout.
The poll has expired. Thank you for your submissions.
“I kinda understand where he’s coming from,” said Krista Horton, a Seahawks fan from Lake City who was posing for photos with some co-workers outside CenturyLink Field on Wednesday. “If you have the opportunity to go for more money, go for it. But he should have been there to back up his team.”
Marc Stegmaier, a high-school math teacher from Vancouver, Wash., thinks Chancellor’s 54-day holdout has become a blemish on his legacy.
“As a dad, teacher and coach, I respect honor and integrity above all else. While the NFL is a business, I think Kam made a mistake,” Stegmaier wrote in an e-mail. “His image is tarnished and the only way to come back is to admit the mistake and be the best teammate he can be. Not just the best teammate to the players whom he respects and understands, but to every single player and coach in that locker room.”
Dressed in a white No. 11 Seahawks jersey as he walked past the stadium, Seattle native Ray Harris echoed similar sentiments when asked for his thoughts on Chancellor.
“When you go to war, you go to war with your comrades,” Harris said. “You can’t abandon ship in the middle of the war. It wasn’t worked out in the preseason. When it was the regular season, it was time to go to war with his comrades. It hurt the team.”
That’s also the part Bellingham’s Ryan Chapman takes issue with.
Chapman, who was shopping at the Seahawks’ pro shop with a friend, said he was turned off by how much of a distraction Chancellor’s holdout became.
“What you can’t take back is the distractions it took during training camp, the distractions during preseason and during the first two weeks of games. (Coach) Pete Carroll, (general manager) John Schneider and the whole team had to be answering questions about Kam Chancellor,” Chapman said.
Add in the fact that Chancellor signed a five-year, $28 million contract in April 2013, and some fans have been rubbed the wrong way.
“You can’t sign a contract that you’re happy with and say a couple years later, ‘Oh, we’re unhappy with it,’ ” said Chapman, a student at Bellingham Technical College. “That’s inappropriate. If I didn’t show up for my job for three months, I’d be fired and it wouldn’t matter how good I was at my job.”
The Seahawks enter Sunday’s home opener with an 0-2 record. Would Chancellor have made a difference in the losses?
Longtime Seahawks fans Cameron Craig and Jeff Wilkson pondered the question as they munched on pizza for lunch while sitting on some steps outside CenturyLink Field.
“I think he would,” said Craig, a North Seattle resident whose family has had Seahawks season tickets since 1978. “I know in the first game there were a few plays that his replacement (Dion Bailey) botched without him there.”
Wilkson said Chancellor’s presence would have “improved communication on defense and just kind of rallied that defense together.”
Wilkson and Craig said they will continue to support Chancellor based on everything he’s done for the Seahawks in his career, but they wonder whether the contract dispute will affect Chancellor’s effort this season.
“I’m willing to give him the benefit of doubt and willing to not hold it against him as long as he’s coming back and putting in the effort and making a difference,” Craig said. “But we’ve seen in the past, with athletes in Seattle, the whole, ‘Oh, my contract is not what I want, so I’m not going to play as hard.’
“That was a chronic problem with the Mariners, but I’m not concerned about that yet (with Chancellor). I still respect him. Cautiously.”