Monday, April 22, 2013
On Kam Chancellor's deal with Seahawks
By Mike Sando
Re-signing strong safety Kam Chancellor was a priority for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.
Coach Pete Carroll said so during the NFL owners meeting in Arizona last month.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Seahawks have reached agreement on a new contract with Chancellor, who otherwise could have become an unrestricted free agent following the 2013 season. The Seahawks have called a news conference for 5 p.m. ET at team headquarters. ESPN's John Clayton reported the agreement Monday. I'll make sense of financial terms once they're on file with the league and easier to examine in their full context.
"It's a great day today," Chancellor tweeted before news broke.
Chancellor, a fifth-round choice in 2010, becomes the first Carroll-era Seahawks draft choice to sign an extension.
Left tackle Russell Okung and free safety Earl Thomas, the team's first-round picks in 2010, remain under contract. Golden Tate, a second-rounder in 2010, is entering the final year of his deal amid questions about how the team might allocate its finances at receiver for the long term following Percy Harvin's acquisition this offseason.
Chancellor, Okung and Thomas have earned Pro Bowl honors, making Seattle the only team with three such players from its 2010 draft class. A foot injury slowed Chancellor last season. He underwent surgery in January and was expected to be at full strength in 2013.
The Seahawks under Carroll and general manager John Schneider have re-signed Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Chris Clemons, Marshawn Lynch and Max Unger to significant contracts. Bryant, Mebane and Unger were draft choices left over from the team's previous leadership. Clemons and Lynch were acquired by trade.
Harvin signed a new deal following his acquisition by trade. Zach Miller and Sidney Rice were high-profile signings in free agency previously.
Chancellor carries added value beyond the typical safety for his unusual combination of size (6-foot-4 and 230 pounds) and coverage ability. His coverage seemed to suffer through injury last season, including when the Atlanta Falcons' Roddy White got behind the coverage for a touchdown in the playoffs. But when healthy, Chancellor covers ground better than anticipated for a safety with such unusual size. And he has remained a tone-setting presence in the secondary, including when he blasted San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis during a prime-time game late last season.
While the Seahawks could reasonably find another starting-caliber safety -- the 2013 draft supposedly has quite a few of them -- they would have a hard time finding one able to provide specifically what Chancellor provides to their defense. The team also seems to value Chancellor for his leadership and approach to the game. The Chancellor-Thomas pairing is one they want to keep.