As of May 9th, 2019, Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor are no longer Seattle Seahawks. With Chancellor, we knew he wasn’t going to play another down in the NFL again, this just made things official. Baldwin was the bigger story, as concern over his injuries went from “how healthy will he be in 2019?” to “he might never suit up again.” The worst fears were confirmed, and his failed physical means his playing days in Seattle are over.
We are now more than five full years removed from the Seahawks’ greatest ever feat — a 43-8 trouncing of the Denver Broncos to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Baldwin scored the final touchdown that night, while Chancellor had the game’s first interception. Thursday represented another sobering reality that the Super Bowl team is long gone, both part of the natural cycle of NFL roster turnover, but also accelerated/forced releases and retirements due to catastrophic injury/injuries to many of the team’s best players.
The only players from the 2013 roster who are still Seahawks in 2019 are Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, and K.J. Wright. Wilson had his contract extended and he is ideally a Seahawk for life. Wagner’s contract is up after this upcoming season, and obviously negotiations are going to be a major storyline until further notice. Wright re-signed with Seattle on a two-year deal that takes him through the 2020 season. If you really want to extend out to the 2014 NFC Championship winning side, you can add in Justin Britt and Cassius Marsh, although Marsh just returned to the Seahawks and is hardly a lock to make the roster.
Doug Baldwin’s toe-tapping catches and ankle-breaking route running are now a thing of the past. Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett are not on opposite ends of the most fearsome pass rush in the league. Richard Sherman isn’t locking up his man so tightly that quarterbacks refuse to throw his way. Earl Thomas’ crazy ball skills are soon to be benefiting the Baltimore Ravens. Kam Chancellor is physically unable to be the roaming deathbacker he once was.
All good things must come to an end. The relative abruptness of it is what makes it extra sad.
But the story isn’t finished yet. This is undoubtedly Russell Wilson’s team for years to come. He has established himself as one of the NFL’s most valuable players. But for Seattle to contend again, the new generation has to step up and make the previous era proud that they followed in their footsteps. Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Marquise Blair, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, Will Dissly, D.K. Metcalf, Gary Jennings Jr, Michael Dickson (already the actual greatest punter of all-time), these are just some of the men who can help send Seattle back to glory and write a new, riveting chapter in this golden age of Seattle Seahawks football.