One of my first notable articles on this website was called "I Love You Always Forever: Kam Chancellor." It was a brilliant love poem written by a genius author, but when I tried to pimp it out to Kam on Twitter he was basically like, "Fudge off, loser."
Well, I said "always forever" and I meant it. I do love Kam as a player, and he seems to be a fine person (I actually do not know anything about his personality, nor have I heard as such, but I'm open for anything), but it definitely sucks to be him right now. I mean, let's be honest -- ain't nobody reading this is gonna make $4.5 million this year, and if you are, why haven't you donated to my IndieGoGo?
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So look, Kam is doing alright in that area. Then why would he holdout? After all, the total value of his contract, $28 million, is the second-highest in the NFL for strong safeties behind William Moore, whose total value is $30 million but for one more year. So Kam actually makes the most per year -- $7 million -- than any strong safety in the NFL. That's more per year than most free safeties, which is a more valuable position. (Earl Thomas's $10 million/year is the highest among all safeties. Kam's is eighth.)
Why does it suck to be Kam Chancellor then? Why would he be holding out if his deal is actually pretty good in total value and AAV in comparison to his contemporaries?
Because his guarantees are terrible.
The total guarantee on Kam's deal is $7.825 million. That ranks 18th among all safeties. Keep in mind that four players ahead of him are on fully-guaranteed rookie deals, but that still puts him outside of the top 12.
Mark Barron doesn't make a lot of money per year (relative to NFL players) but next season he will be paid $2.36 million whether the Rams cut him or keep him. That's for sure gonna be his money because it's guaranteed. Kam doesn't have that luxury.
The only thing the Seahawks are on the hook for in 2016 and 2017 is the $1 million prorated portions of his signing bonus, meaning that they can cut him and save against his base salaries of $5.1 and $6.8 million each of those seasons, respectively.
And whether you want to believe it or not, they might.
Though he has only missed three games over five years, Kam has a fairly healthy history of being unhealthy. There was the MCL tear before the Super Bowl. The groin injury that forced him out for two games last season. The hip surgery nobody expected in 2014. A handful of times where he was listed as 'probable' for various bang-ups to his groin, knee, or ankle.
I like to think that a good nickname for Kam Chancellor would be "Harm's Way." Like "Don't put yourself into Harm's Way." You can't deliver Thor's hammer against your opponents without expecting to get a little bruised up. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and all that jazz.
Kam knows that on any given play, because of the way he plays the game -- the same way that makes him an All-Pro -- something could happen that sets him back. It's a risk every NFL player takes, but Kam takes it more often than most who don't play running back. So I imagine he wants to feel comfortable that if something happens, he will be comfortable. At this stage, he's not.
Because in the NFL a "big deal" is often not a big deal.
Only 27.9% of Kam's deal is guaranteed. Look around at some of the other big safety contracts and what percentage of their deal is guaranteed and this is what you'll find:
- Reshad Jones, 53.5%
- Eric Berry, 51.3%
- Eric Weddle, 47.5%
- William Moore, 46.7%
- Devin McCourty, 46.3%
- LaRon Landry, 45.8% with $11 million guaranteed
- Dashon Goldson 43.6%
- Donte Whitner, 39.3%
I mean, some of these guys aren't even good anymore. They once were, but now they're not. And they don't deserve as much as Kam does now, but that's also probably why Seattle isn't going to budge.
Kam absolutely, 100-percent deserves to make more money and get a better guarantee (there, I hope you like this article more than you did my previous one, KAM!) but the reason he probably won't get it is simple: He wants more of a guarantee because he knows he could get seriously injured. The Seahawks won't because they know he could get seriously injured.
Perhaps even to the point of there possibly being an injury Kam is dealing with right now -- like the recovery from that torn MCL -- that has put the burner on underneath him and is the reason we are having this holdout right now. It's probably a good thing for him to not play in at least a couple of these preseason games. Kam is still only 27, but come a year from now, when he's 28 and John Schneider is looking at his roster, wondering where he could save $4.1 million, or in 2017 when he could save $7.1 million (and there's a $325,000 roster bonus), Kam might not be looking as great. NFL players can fall off real quick (look at Goldson), and ones who have been consistently banged up for the past couple of years, even quicker.
Kam is one of the core guys on this roster that I can't fathom not being here, but it's going to happen at some point. Maybe even sooner than we think. So yeah, I think it probably does suck to be Kam right now.
He's at least looking for some more security on his paycheck ... and I don't think he's gonna get it.