Safety Kam Chancellor has ended his holdout and reported to the Seahawks, the team confirmed Wednesday. Chancellor reportedly has not gotten a new deal.
RENTON — Shortly after 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the horn blew at the Seahawks’ facility and Kam Chancellor returned to his usual spot at front of the line as the defensive backs began their drills for practice.
A few hours earlier, Chancellor had arrived at the facility, officially putting an end to an often-head-scratching 54-day holdout.
“I think it was that time,” Chancellor said as he met the media shortly before practice. “I talked to a few guys, got some great words from people. I just feel like the time is now. I’ve always been a guy who follows my heart. Just watching my teammates and my team play, week to week, that first and second game, watching those losses hurt me, being the leader that I am. So I think the time is now to come back, put all business to the side and address that after the season, just get back to work.”
Chancellor, 27, held out hoping the team would renegotiate a five-year, $28 million contract he signed in April 2013 that takes him through the 2017 season.
Sources, though, said the team held firm to its stance of not renegotiating with Chancellor and that Chancellor ended his holdout without receiving any specific promises of anything. One source said the sides had not spoken for several weeks until Chancellor began informing team officials and teammates Wednesday morning that he was back in Seattle and would report.
Chancellor, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, said he made the decision to end his holdout Tuesday and flew to Seattle on Tuesday night.
“I prayed on it all (Tuesday) night,” he said. “It just felt right. It felt right in my heart. Usually when I’m doing something wrong, my heart trembles. It doesn’t feel right. But everything felt perfect.”
During his holdout Chancellor also racked up possible fines of more than $2 million, including missing game checks of $267,647 for sitting out the team’s first two games.
Sources have said the team could waive some of the fines, though coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks will not release particulars.
Chancellor, asked if he had gotten assurances that the team will talk to him about a new deal after the season, appeared to confirm that the sides have yet to agree to any specifics saying, “That’s something we’ll discuss.’’
Chancellor, though, mostly evaded particulars of why he held out and what happens now.
“Right now this is about coming back and playing football,’’ Chancellor said. “That’s where my main focal point is.’’
Carroll, while also evading any specific talks of contract, said the holdout had not changed the Seahawks’ long-term plans regarding Chancellor.
“Kam’s going to be with us for a long time,’’ Carroll said. “We hope he will always be a Seahawk, and that’s all we’ve ever thought of it, and nothing’s ever changed in that.’’
The team received a two-week NFL exemption to add Chancellor to the roster so he can begin practicing immediately. The Seahawks will have to make a move to add Chancellor to the active 53-man roster by Saturday to make him eligible Sunday against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field.
Carroll indicated that will happen, saying, “My thought is that we’re going to go with the approach that he will play.”
Chancellor was more emphatic, saying, “I know I can play Sunday.”
Chancellor worked out twice daily while away from the Seahawks, and Carroll reported that he weighed in at 226 pounds with 6 percent body fat.
“He’s in magnificent shape,” Carroll said.
Teammates likewise said they expect him to play.
“I don’t see why he wouldn’t,” said defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who then joked that “I’m pretty sure (team owner) Paul (Allen) wants him to play.”
Indeed it was a day of good feelings for a team starving for some positive news after an 0-2 start. Chancellor said he watched the two losses and added “It was very hard, because, not taking away from anybody else, but I knew I could make a difference, so it was very hard. I’m just here now to move forward.”
Chancellor said talks with teammates helped him return, as did a conversation with former NFL star Ray Lewis, who had said in a recent interview that he could never have held out and “leave my brothers in battle.”
Chancellor said of conversations with teammates: “Just hearing them talk all the time, how much they miss me and vice versa, I think those things kind of spurred me into coming back.”
Though some wondered if Seahawks players had begun to turn on Chancellor as the holdout lingered, there was no evidence of hard feelings Wednesday. Chancellor said he was welcomed back with open arms and added, “It was like I was never gone, like I never missed a beat, like we never missed a beat with each other.’’
In a comment typical of the locker room, linebacker K.J. Wright dismissed the idea that there was any resentment. “I don’t know why people keep saying that,’’ Wright said. “There’s no tension. ‘’
Wright, though, also allowed that there was a different feeling in the locker room Wednesday with Chancellor back.
“I just feel some energy in the building,’’ he said. “It just feels like we have some life to us. He’s here now, and we’ll go get this thing rolling.’’