Pete Carroll’s tone has definitely changed on Kam Chancellor. And not for the better.
Now that the real season is upon the Seahawks, their coach said flatly on Wednesday, the 41st day of Chancellor’s holdout: “He’s not here, and he’s not playing” in Sunday’s opener against the Rams in St. Louis.
“He’s not here right now, so he’s not playing. That’s it,” Carroll said. “Today’s Wednesday.”
If Chancellor doesn’t report to the team for the game, he will lose $267,647 -- 1/17th of his $4.55 million salary for 2015.
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I asked Carroll of the thumping strong safety and team leader decided to show up, say, Thursday, or as the bus to the airport is leaving for the team’s trip to St. Louis on Friday -- these Seahawks had a Percy Harvin event you may recall surrounding that ride to St. Louis last October -- or if Chancellor showed up next Monday, is there a too-late day for him to play in a game that week?
“I don’t know,” Carroll said, his tone as flat as a billiards table. “This is Wednesday. We’ll see what happens next. If this is Wednesday, I’m probably going to be speaking the same way next week.”
“Dion Bailey ... we are going to count on him to do the things that he does well (in Chancellor’s starting position). ... We are moving. We are ready to go.
“Yeah, I am disappointed in this. Very much so. I think everybody should be, because he’s been such a great part of this team. It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this and he’s not here.”
Contrast that stern tone with this, what Carroll said about Chancellor on day one of his holdout, when training camp began July 31:
“We’ve been messaging back and forth, yeah,” the coach said then. “Let me say this too, nobody asked the question: Kam Chancellor is an amazing Seahawk, part of this team. We love him in every way. He stands for exactly what we want about this game, being a Seahawk, playing for us. And we want to make something happen. We’re going to try to figure it out as we go through it. Really we don’t see any of the other side of it. Kam Chancellor is a champion warrior football player, part of this team and one of the ultimate leaders on this team too, so we want to have him back. We’d love to have him back with us. He has his points. He’s got his thoughts. He’s a very smart guy. He’s thought this out and made it very clear the choice this time."
On July 31 Carroll said one day of Chancellor’s holdout was not a nuisance.
”We don’t see it as disruptive. There’s so much going on that everybody’s pushing to make something happen,” Carroll said then. “It isn’t disruptive at this point, but we miss him and it’s too early in the process to know the impact of it but we’d love to have him with us."
It’s beyond disruptive to Carroll and the Seahawks now, four days before the real games begin.
UPDATE: Tonight NFL Network is quoting Chancellor as saying the gap between him and the Seahawks is “petty.” The network also says Chancellor doesn’t want additional money this year but his 2017 cash moved up to ‘16. Hmmmm...