On Wednesday, after almost eight weeks of being absent and potentially losing out on over $2 million, strong safety Kam Chancellor reportedly returned to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks' hard-hitting All-Pro safety has been holding out since the start of the preseason. Given that the organization has a firm policy that involves renegotiating player contracts in their final year, they had declined to give into Chancellor's demands, whose contract will expire in 2017.
Fellow safety DeShawn Shead and Dion Bailey have been depended upon by Seattle since Chancellor, a three-time Pro Bowler, did not report at the beginning of training camp. The strong safety had been put on the reserve/did not report list, so a move will have to be made to add him to the 53-man lineup before he can play in a game again. However, the Seahawks was granted with a roster exemption which permits Chancellor to return to practice right away.
In a meeting with the press on Wednesday, Chancellor has this to say about ending his holdout: ''I just feel like the time is now. I've always been a guy who follows my heart. Just watching my teammates and my team play, week to week, that first and second game, watching those losses hurt me, being the leader that I am. So I think the time is now to come back, put all business to the side and address that after the season, just get back to work.''
He then reiterated that his decision to hold out is purely between him and business. "It had nothing to do with my teammates, nothing to do with what we had and what we created over the offseason. That was just between me and business, and I'd rather address that and handle that after the season when the time is permitted. But right now, it's back to playing football."
As of this week, the fines caused by his holdout already exceed $2 million. The Seattle Seahawks' general manager John Schneider and owner Paul Allen apparently held firm on their policy; it means that the holdout was effectively a failure and Chancellor's demands were not addressed, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The pressing question now is whether the team's management will waive Chancellor's fines or not.
Being one of the NFL's top safeties and a leader of the "Legion of Boom" secondary, Kam Chancellor is slated to make $5.1 million in base salary for 2016 and another $6.8 million in 2017. On Wednesday, he showed up in good playing shape, weighing 226 pounds with 6 percent body fat.
Seattle is expecting Chancellor to suit up for Sunday's match against the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks are the defending NFC champion and will go for their first win of the season in their home opener. They are expected to extend the Bears' seven-game losing streak on Sunday.