Kam Chancellor can be docked a gamecheck of $267,647 for missing Sunday's loss to the Rams as well as losing $250,000 in bonus money. Yet the team certainly seemed to miss his presence on the field in St. Louis.
Seattle’s surprising 34-31 overtime loss at St. Louis Sunday and the manner in which it occurred — with the defense being unusually vulnerable at key points of the game — will raise the obvious question of whether Sunday will mark a turning point in the ongoing Kam Chancellor saga.
The Seahawks have insisted it will not.
Recall that coach Pete Carroll was asked that very question on his radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle last week — whether early results would change the team’s stance on Chancellor — and said no.
“Not really” Carroll said then, adding that “everything is pretty well-stated (on Seattle’s end) and we know where he’s coming from.”
SEAHAWKS AT RAMS »
The message appeared clear — the team wasn’t intending to let Chancellor use a loss or two as leverage to get what he wants.
Still, it’s tempting to wonder if Chancellor actually missing a game will spur more urgency from either side.
Chancellor can be docked a gamecheck of $267,647 for missing the loss to the Rams as well as losing $250,000 in bonus money.
And the team certainly seemed to miss his presence on the field. There were issues larger than just Chancellor being gone, to be sure. And it’s unfair to pin the loss solely on the final Rams’ touchdown in which Chancellor’s replacement, Dion Bailey, was beaten by St. Louis’ Lance Kendricks for a 37-yard score.
But the overall numbers were telling — the 34 points tied the most Seattle has allowed in a game since 2010.
And consider a couple of passing stats— the Rams averaged 16.2 yards per pass on Sunday, almost double the 10.6 average the Seahawks allowed for all of the 2014 season; and the Rams also averaged 9.5 yards per pass play, almost two yards more than the high last season (7.7 in the loss at St. Louis).
Carroll and players seemed reluctant to talk much about Chancellor afterward.
“That is not where my focus is now,” Carroll said. “We had a lot of aspects of this game where we could have played better football and we are going to try and clean that stuff up.”
One reason might have been seeing how hard Bailey was taking the defeat, slumped forlornly in his locker afterward as he talked quietly to reporters.
“I never thought it would happen to me, but it did,” Bailey said.”I’ve got to learn from it and get better and represent my family name better next week.”
Carroll seemed to strongly hint last week that the deadline each week for Chancellor to be able to play is Wednesday.
“I’m just going to take it like this is Wednesday and we’ll just see what happens next,” Carroll said. “If this is Wednesday I’m probably going to be speaking the same way next week saying the same thing to you.”
Related video: Seahawks 2015 Season PreviewRising out of last year’s devastating Super Bowl loss, the Seahawks are still positioned to make a strong run at their third consecutive Super Bowl. For players and fans alike, the expectation of a third Super Bowl remains strong. Read more. (The Seattle Times)
So if Chancellor is to be on the field Sunday night at Green Bay, then something probably needs to happen in the next 48 hours or so.
Some of the chatter on the Sunday morning NFL talk shows seemed to hint that things may indeed be happening.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, for instance, repeated what the Network had reported earlier in the week about Chancellor feeling the two sides are roughly $900,000 a part in the money Chancellor wants moved from his 2017 salary to 2016. Rapoport also said that how much of Chancellor’s fines the team wants to impose also remains an issue (if the team imposed every single possible fine dating to training camp, the total now is roughly $1.8 million).
“At this point, a compromise potentially awaits but there is nothing now, pending the outcome of today’s game, that could change,” Rapoport said. “At this point, they are still at a stalemate despite players going into the offices of GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll and begging them [to] bring Kam Chancellor home. All of that being said, four weeks ago it seemed that they had a deal in place to bring Chancellor home and end his holdout – it fell apart. Depending on who you talk to, the accounts differ; one side got cold feet, the other side took too long to respond.”
Reports of the team negotiating, of course, differ with what other sources have said about the team not wanting to negotiate at all and having no desire to change Chancellor’s contract for the precedent it would set, giving other players something to point to as a reason for the Seahawks to renegotiate their own deal. And some sources insist that the talk of the team negotiating with Chancellor is overblown (essentially, what the team may view as stating a willingness to talk down the road once Chancellor reports being considered by Chancellor’s side as active negotiations).
Regardless of the details — and there is always an element of he-said, she-said to these things — for now Chancellor remains away.And something no one could have anticipated when camp began in July —Chancellor actually missing a game — has happened.
The next few days figure to tell us how much —- if any — that changed anything.