Kam Chancellor: You’ve made your point. You’ve sent your message. But if you keep this up, you also will have dropped the ball. This strike is past the point of yielding anything productive.
You don’t know me, but based on everything I’ve heard since I moved up here, I can’t help but feel like I know you.
Fans talk about the hit you laid on Vernon Davis three years ago like it’s folklore. Radio hosts rave about your locker-room presence as though you’re Knute Rockne reincarnated.
By all accounts, if you want a player who can ravage opponents with the same force in which he rallies teammates, then Kameron D. Chancellor is your go-to guy.
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I also want to make clear that — and I’m reaching deep into my vocabulary here — I think NFL contracts suck. You guys play in the most lucrative league in the world, endure more physical trauma than prizefighters, yet can be discarded sans repercussions at any moment.
That MLB, NBA and NHL contracts are guaranteed and yours aren’t is a farce. How can the NFL dedicate so much energy to deflated footballs in the name of fairness, yet ignore the most unjust labor situation in professional sports?
So now that you know how I feel about non-guaranteed contracts, and now that you know all the Grade-A things I’ve heard about you, I ask that you listen closely to the following suggestion.
Get back on the field.
Kam — come on, man. This holdout has gone on long enough.
You’ve made your point. You’ve sent your message. But if you keep this up, you also will have dropped the ball.
This strike is past the point of yielding anything productive. It can, however, be tsunami-like destructive.
So please, for everyone’s sake, just come back.
Come back, because your leverage in this matter is nonexistent. The Seahawks have made clear that they aren’t going to set a precedent by giving in to a player with three years left on a four-year deal.
Yes, you are the best strong safety in the league, and yes, some of your Legion of Boom brethren are clearing checks a whole lot bigger than yours, but here’s the thing: You chose to sign your $28 million contract in 2013 — a contract that guaranteed you $7.8 million and made you the highest-paid member of Seattle’s secondary.
If you thought you were worth more, you could have bet on yourself and inked a one-year deal. But you can’t suddenly feel slighted because Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman went on to earn higher salaries after hanging a Super Bowl banner.
In the words of Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who prefaced the following by praising your talent and character: “I just don’t understand Kam’s stance … I just don’t think this is a very good strategy.”
Come back, because this world-championship window is closer to closing than you think. In fact, this might be the Seahawks’ last real shot.
Given all the dough they’ve already shelled out, they’re going to struggle to keep Pro Bowler Russell Okung — not to mention all the other soon-to-be-free-agent starters. And assuming he even comes back, it would be unreasonable to expect Marshawn Lynch to deliver his usual dose of dominance in 2016, when he’d start the season on the wrong side of 30.
So if you sit out, not only would your stubbornness cost you money, it could cost your teammates a title. Personally, I’d much rather swallow my pride than a pill that bitter.
Come back, because — on the flip side — it may turn out this team doesn’t need you.
As my colleague Bob Condotta pointed out recently, cornerback Todd Bell and defensive lineman Al Harris sat out Chicago’s’ 1985 season due to contract disputes, only to watch the most dominant defense in history lead the Bears to a Super Bowl.
Good teams find a way. You guys shipped out Percy Harvin last year and came within 1 yard of repeating as champs. The Patriots cycle through Pro Bowl-caliber personnel every season and have won at least 10 games for 12 straight years.
To be gone is one thing, Kam. To be forgotten is something else entirely. Imagine the horror of rooting against your team so that you can stay relevant.
Come back, because the Kam that folks see now seems to contradict the Kam they thought they knew.
You were the guy Steve Largent called “the real leader” of the Seahawks last year. I’d be curious to know if he’d repeat that quote today.
You were the guy who famously redefined L.O.B. to mean “Love Our Brothers.” Now, the message seems to be that, if you’re not happy with your contract, you can go ahead and leave your brothers.
I understand that you’re still communicating with your teammates, watching film, and helping younger players in any way possible. But we all know that you are of far greater value to the Hawks as an on-field enforcer than you are as an off-field encourager.
Come back, because … look, it’s just time. Returning without getting what you want may feel like a tail-between-your-legs moment, but it’s the quickest way to cut your losses.
You’ll regain a sense of normalcy, cause fans to forget this ever happened, and position the Seahawks for one of sports’ great tales of redemption.
Something historic could be on the horizon, Kam, but you have to play your part. So while it may seem wise to hold yourself out — know that this would only hold your team back.