Whether he intended to or not, Kam Chancellor got some Seahawks fans excited over him possibility being back on the team in 2018.
The star strong safety and soul of the Seahawks hasn’t played since a season-ending neck injury he got making a tackle late in the win at Arizona on Nov. 9. His career is in doubt, pending doctors’ determinations, consultations and Chancellor’s own honest assessment on his place in the game. And in life.
On Thursday, hours after the NFL announced the Seahawks will play in London for the first time on Oct. 14 against Oakland, Chancellor hosted a question-and-answer session with fans on his Twitter account. Renowned for his intensity and his guarded public profile, Chancellor wrote the goal of his Twitter Q-and-A was to open up, to be more accessible, at least in this case to the internet folk.
So it was that one fan asked: “How do you feel about playing in the UK next year?”
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Chancellor posted this response: "The travel will suck. But im grateful for the experience"
Wait, "the experience"?
Chancellor, experiencing the Seahawks’ game in London next season?
You can imagine the replies to that:
But, before this online optimism grows rampant...
On Jan. 2, two days after Seattle’s 2017 season ended without a playoff appearance for the first time since 2011, Carroll said on his regular radio show with KIRO AM of Chancellor and fellow Pro Bowl defender Cliff Avril: "(They) are going to have a hard time playing football again."
Avril also got a serious, season-ending neck injury in 2017.
That was the farthest Carroll had gone to saying their careers may end.
Later that day Carroll backed off that somewhat in a press conference.
"Both those guys are marvelous people and competitors and all that," Carroll said in that press conference on Jan. 2. "We'd love to see them through the rest of their career.
“I don't know what's going to happen there."
Chancellor got married last summer. Weeks later, at the start of August, he signed a contract extension that he’d waited two years to get. It guaranteed him $25 million. He turns 30 in April. He’s had each of his last four seasons shortened by different injuries, from his neck down to ankles. Last offseason, in April, he had surgeries on both ankles at the same time. That left him in a wheelchair for a while.
Now he’s got his most jeopardizing injury yet. Carroll acknowledged this month it is one that could potentially affect Chancellor’s quality of life after football.
He doesn’t need to play anymore. The doctors will ultimately determine whether he will. Until they clear him to return from his neck issue, he won’t play--in London, Seattle or anywhere else.
Who knows if Chancellor’s Twitter tease means he will be a player, coach, ambassador, fan or whatever with the Seahawks when they are in England in nine months?
In the meantime, he has a contract date coming up that may soon force some clarity on his future with the team.
Chancellor’s three-year, $36 million extension has him under contract with Seattle through the 2020 season. He will be guaranteed $12 million this year if he remains on the Seahawks’ roster within a week of the Super Bowl, which is Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. If he won’t play in 2018, or ever again, he and the Seahawks may announce that by the second week of February.
If they don’t make any announcement on Chancellor’s future within the next month, uh...tallyho!?