BY Art Thiel 06:34PM 09/23/2015

Thiel: Seahawks’ Chancellor ‘can forgive.’ Really?

Chancellor’s return was welcomed by many. But he can’t talk his way around having made his job and the job of the team much harder.

The Seahawks’ long summer nightmare is over — Kam Chancellor is back. /

As far as Pete Carroll is concerned, the first two games of the regular season were just extensions of the exhibition season.

“We really feel like this is the start,” Carroll said after Kam Chancellor left the podium at the Seahawks training facility Wednesday afternoon. “Maybe nobody else does. I don’t really care about who else has an opinion about that.”

Insofar as it is his job to do whatever it takes to convince his players to win the next 14 games, Carroll is entitled to say whatever he thinks will make it so. Insofar as the NFL is concerned, its opinion does count. By all indications, including the published standings, the league claims the Seahawks are 0-2.

If the Seahawks miss the postseason by one game, or make it, but must travel to Green Bay in January for a playoff game, well, then we’ll have to ask questions about the 0-2 “preseason.” And we’ll be asking Chancellor, not Carroll.

Because the Seahawks’ adverse circumstances will be on him. One of which includes his replacement whiffing on the game-tying touchdown in the opener (game five of the exhibition season?) in St. Louis that the Rams won in overtime.

Chancellor has yet to explain himself, because Wednesday’s presser at VMAC was an exercise in obfuscation and avoidance.

Asked what happened Tuesday to get him end his nearly two-month holdout despite no public change in the club’s position, Chancellor said, “I pray all the time.”

So God told him, “Go forth and smite Bears QB Jimmy Clausen”?

Wait a minute. I believe it was God’s son who was quoted as saying, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Which I interpret to mean: Play ball unto the the terms given by the new Caesar, Paul Allen.

So really, what gives? Again, Chancellor waffled about why he put his teammates and club through a maneuver that had no good outcome.

“That’s between me and business,” he said, not identifying what “business” was. “I would rather handle that after the season when the time is permitted. Right now, it’s back to playing football.”

Nor would Pete Carroll offer insight into what might have changed in the last 48 hours.

“I’m not going to talk about anything about any of the business of it,” he said. “You’ll get nothing from us.”

Not surprising, because Carroll is always about the moment and the future, never the past. His job is to make sure things look good and feel good. In fact, he accompanied Chancellor to the podium, not necessarily as a minder but more as a photo op, perhaps to portray management’s forgiveness for Chancellor’s contractual transgressions.

Pete Carroll accompanied Kam Chancellor to the podium Wednesday. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest

Whether management is in a forgiving mood — fines, forfeited bonus and foregone paychecks add up to more than $2 million, at the club’s option — will leak out when it’s time to deal with the 2016 salary cap, Chancellor’s place under it, and what promises may have been made to break the deadlock for 2015. Carroll, meanwhile was in charge of spreading happy-happy, joy-joy, in which he has a seventh-degree black belt.

“Kam’s going to be with us for a long time,” he said. “We hope he’ll always be a Seahawk, and that’s all we’ve ever thought of it. Nothing’s ever changed in that. Really, nothing’s ever changed in his thought of that, either. We’re very much in concert about that. We look forward to a really long relationship. It’s been fantastic until now, and we’re going to just continue it.”

Carroll is desperate to get everyone’s focus off the 0-2 start and the Chancellor fallout, then blast the 0-2 Chicagos so hard that it will wake George Halas from the dead. The task is so in his wheelhouse that he felt compelled to brag about it.

“I’m pretty good about this — you’re looking at (the solution),” he said. “What’s happened is already gone, and there’s really nothing that we can do about that. How are we going to respond now? That’s what’s important.

“I’m pretty disciplined about that, which I need to be because I’m asking all of these (players and coaches) to do that. We’ve been doing that for years. I think it’s part of what gives us a chance to get back on track and re-create the things that have been positive for us.”

So Carroll is doing what he does best, and now it’s up to Chancellor to do same. Carroll reported that Chancellor weighs 226 pounds with body fat of six percent, and worked intensely with a personal trainer. But there is no training that prepares a player for the game’s violence and suddenness. Just have to get used to it.

Chancellor’s fitness and ferocity suggest he’ll be OK. But given the inevitable urgency he will feel to make up for lost time, there is the prospect that his hamstrings will snap up like a pair of window shades.

It’s part of the cost of doing business the way he did it. Many fans who care only about the immediate W’s are thrilled about his return regardless of consequences. But Chancellor has made his job, and the team’s job — getting back to the Super Bowl — harder.

Given management’s refusal to bend before games were lost, I asked him whether he over-valued his place on the team.

“No, I didn’t overvalue my place,” he said. “I just go out there and play ball. I just like to show people a hard worker, a physical football player, someone who loves to play the game.”

For four years, he has shown people all those virtues. They responded with universal praise, and he signed on for handsome compensation to do it for three more years. Why he chose to pause for two months, at great potential cost to himself and his team, remains a mystery.

Carroll has the latitude to ask for a figurative re-start. Amazingly, Chancellor sees himself in a position to offer forgiveness.

Responding to a question about his message to the 12s, Chancellor said, “People are going to make opinions when they don’t know your situation, when they don’t know exactly what is going on. So I forgive those who understand what is going on, and those who don’t understand what is going on. Because if God can forgive, I can also.”

Well, that’s certainly a relief. Just as it was to know Chancellor didn’t over-value himself.


  • Tim

    Really hard to fathom why he let this go into the regular season. It’s not a stretch to say that they could easily be 2-0 if he was playing. Glad to have him back though and I won’t throw popcorn at my computer screen any more while streaming games. Winning 13 out of the next 14 with this defense at full strength is not that far fetched.

  • Lodowick

    He’s put a lot of pressure on himself to deliver and to deliver immediately. Fortunately, he has Clausen and not Rodgers. Stafford could be a little more of an issue if he plays but he might not. They have to finish with the best record in the conference. This team does not have a great playoff record on the road. They are not road warriors.

    • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

      The last 3yrs with Wilson as QB they have had only 2 play off road games winning in Washington/pulverizing RGIII and losing that close one in Atlanta in which they took a 4th Qtr lead and were ahead until the final minute in their comeback that fell short. Many felt they should have won that game.
      The Last two yrs they have had home field advantage so they didn’t have to be road warriors.
      I remember hearing Wilson being interviewed at the pro bowl and they asked the rookie fresh from that Atlanta road loss how it felt to be in Hawaii and he lamented “Oh I don’t know~I wish we were playing in the Super Bowl!”I am guessing he will always remember how bad that FIRSTroad loss hurt no matter how successful he becomes.
      Everybody knows they sucked on the play off road before Wilson but as we saw last year vs GB no matter where the game is?Don’t count Wilson and company out til you see .OO

      • Lodowick

        RG111 was injured (badly) in that playoff game they won on the road. And yes, their past playoff road history has been really poor. A totally different team when they are away from home. Of course, they lost the first two road games this year. A road warrior is, say, Dallas. Didn’t they go 8-0 on the road last year including the win in Seattle? Didn’t Denver just break the NFL record for consecutive road division wins? Was it actually 15? The Hawks need the 12′s in the postseason if they are going to return to the Super Bowl.

        • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

          Oh I agree with you on the road debacle. To your point they need to shore it up or they are going no where dropping road games like that. Do they go 6~2 this year on the road. Unlikely but they might now need to which is why i am fine with the people that are so miffed at Kam. All these games are crucial to home field.

    • art thiel

      You obviously missed the Redskins game in 2012.

    • MacPhisto92

      When you say “this team does not have a great playoff record on the road”. Please direct that towards the Holmgren/Hasselbeck regime that never won a SINGLE playoff game on the road. Carroll/Wilson and company have already proven they can.

      • MacPhisto92

        Until the Redskins victory in 2012, the Seahawks were dreadful on the road. I’m still bitter over Holmgren’s ability to lose every single playoff game his teams played on the road. If they had beaten the Packers in the 2007 playoffs, they would have HOSTED the NFC Championship in Seattle against the 5th seeded Giants. Carroll also had a chance to host the NFC Championship in the 2010 playoffs. If they had beaten the Bears on the road, they would have HOSTED the 6th seeded Packers for the NFC Championship in Seattle. Two incredible opportunities to host the NFC title game since the #1 seed had been knocked out both of those years. Winning a playoff game on the road is incredibly difficult, that’s why I’m hoping Kam’s absence doesn’t cost them home field by a single game and have to travel to Green Bay in January.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Kam is back. He didn’t pull a Galloway and stay out 10games like our touted receiver did long ago. Joey Galloway definitely over valued himself.
    Chancellor gave his best shot at trying to stay politically correct in his comments and fell way short but it is nice to see him back and if you listened to the ESPN commentators today many of them seemed to value Kam pretty high esp in accordance to the Seahawks. Down the road I will be very happy to see him laying the Boom to play off contenders as Seattle tries to claw their way back into this thing. Go Hawks!

    • MacPhisto92

      “He didn’t pull a Galloway”……So if 2 guys came up to you in a dark ally….one of them uses a knife to stab you 2 times, and the other guys stabs you 10 times….the guy that stabbed you twice is not that bad? I’m having a hard time trying to understand your logic.

      • dingle

        I’m having an equally hard time understanding a comparison of a player holdout to a back-alley knifing. Pretty high on the drama-meter, IMO.

        • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

          Agreed. Any time a player holds out the majority of the seasons(1O games ) it has serious repercussions. I’m hoping this knife wound (2games) is heal-able.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        I dont do dark alleys nor would I have held out for2 games either, but I think they still have a shot at saving the season. 10games? I would be alot less optimistic.

        • MacPhisto92

          10 games for that Hawks team Galloway played on probably wouldn’t have made much difference at all. Those Hawks weren’t exactly busting down the door on their way to the playoffs with or without Joey. All things considered, it’s a much bigger loss for a leader like Kam to miss 2 very important games coming off 2 Super Bowl appearances and trying to make a 3rd while the Championship window is still open.

          • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

            Well to your point it might cost them home field and that is certainly a big deal. Micheal Bennett made some comments yesterday that it was their own fault not Kams for being 0~2. They had the lead in Green Bay and vs Rams and just didnt do enough offensively in either game at the end to deserve the win.
            The players are going to take the high road. He is important but no doubt this holdout did some damage. It will be a political year as a Hawk fan if they fall on their face.

          • art thiel

            There’s no point to teammates sticking it to Kam publicly. For them, no point to being honest.

          • art thiel

            Agreed. Kam’s absence costlier.

    • SeaRaays

      Dallas valued Galloway. They gave us 2 first for him.

    • art thiel

      The holdout was never about his value to the team. It was about his view of his value in the marketplace, and a misread of the Seahawks’ long-term priorities.

  • 1coolguy

    I don’t look for him to keep his agent much longer.

  • Effzee

    God works in mysterious ways. Just ask the QB. :

    • r c houseman

      Get lost Packers troll

  • MacPhisto92

    The Packers now have a 3 game lead over Seattle for home field advantage. If Seattle even makes the playoffs, don’t be surprised when they have to make a trip to Green Bay in January all because they lost out on home field by 1 game.

    • Lodowick

      The Hawks have had key games at home for quite a while now. It’s fitting they should have to win a January game on the road against a tough opponent. Maybe it will be Green Bay, maybe not. The Hawks have also had a good deal of fortune in playing teams with injured or absent starting QB’s. That fortune is still smiling on them. Like every NFL team it will be critical for Seattle to avoid injury.

      • art thiel

        Too bad about Brady being healthy in Feb.

    • art thiel

      I believe that’s what I wrote.

  • Joe_Fan

    The question Kam, isn’t whether YOU can forgive – what is there for YOU to forgive anyways? You brought this entirely on yourself – but rather can you play at such a high level that you can bring the fans to forgive YOU? I welcome you back with open arms, but at the game Sunday I fully expect there to be some naysayers – at least until you lay some bambam on Forte.

    • art thiel

      His response was poor form on Chancellor’s part. I’m sure most fans will forget about it, but some he has lost for good.

  • PokeyPuffy

    Thanks Art, great piece, with lots of Pete Carroll nuggets thrown in as well. Altho his holdout is a huge lose/lose, it does show us casual outsiders how things work in the locker room. Turns out he is an essential piece, a forceful yet well regarded leader, really not a stretch to say he is the soul of the team.

    It has also changed my perception of Earl and Richard quite a bit, taking our first two games in consideration, They are almost bit players compared with Kam, especially Richard who has been exposed a bit in this process. I do wonder if they revisit his contract next year.

    • Pixdawg13

      And had Sherman been out for those two games, you’d be saying Earl and Kam were almost bit players.

    • art thiel

      Kam was always vital on many levels. As far as Thomas/Sherman, I don’t think they’re all the way back from injuries.

  • 3 Lions

    How pathetic. A bunch a guys trying to CTA. All making millions but none of them willing to accept responsibility or assign blame. “It’s all good bro’”.

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    • art thiel

      It’s an unfortunate inevitability in team sports. Public honesty is not considered a virtue. Which is another reason I like Michael Bennett.

      • Jeff Shope

        Bennett needs to talk much less and stay onsides much more it’s getting stupid his penalties outweigh his sacks

  • 1coolguy

    Forgive? The case is whether Kam will forgive his agent!
    Interesting to watch how much longer the agent is a part of Kam’s world.
    All others are irrelevant.

    • Eric K

      Yeah his agent should be fired for incompetence. The NFL salary cap and contracts are what they are. Maybe it is unfair and players do get the short end of no guarantee. But one player isn’t going to change that.

      There is no way this was going to end except for Chandler giving in.

    • art thiel

      I can’t imagine the agent foolish enough to direct this idea. This was Kam’s idea, and the agent is hired to do his bidding.

  • Pixdawg13

    Art and company–gonna nuke the spam reply to 3 Lions?

  • notaboomer

    jeff george held out when he was a colt for alleged reason that he didn’t want to report and face the piss test for drugs until his system had cleared. maybe that is relevant to chancellor’s situation?

    • art thiel

      No evidence at all. If that were the case, he could have been back in two weeks and saved himself large $.

  • Sonics79

    So glad this is over.
    Ever notice Pete Carroll’s sentences have a high degree of probability they with end with the word, “that”?

    • art thiel

      As in “all of that.” Most of us have speech habits that use meaningless words that buy a moment of time to gather thoughts. I prefer them at the end of sentences. Instead of the beginning and well, um, er . . .

  • Alan Kelly

    When he made that statement about forgiving everyone, I was wishing one of you at the press conference would ask him if he was willing to apologize to the fans, his team mates and the organization or putting himself ahead of the team and likely costing his team two losses. Then we could all decide if we want to forgive him or not. I probably would but I sure would love to hear it from him.

    • art thiel

      That would have been a good question. I take responsibility for not asking it.

      • Alan Kelly

        Oh well, next time. I least you are willing to take some responsibility.

      • Bruce McDermott

        The troubles with asking that excellent question, which must lurk in the back of a reporter’s mind, are that it would make that reporter persona non grata with Chancellor, and it would make everybody shift uncomfortably in his or her “seats”. It’s easier to write about it than it is to say it in real time to the player, in front of many others. The potential for mutual embarrassment would be high. How else to explain the pattycake questions that predominated that press conference?

        How was the holdout, and specifically to miss games that count, consistent with the “brotherhood” theme? I still don’t get it. Somebody like Revis doesn’t create a higher standard of behavior for himself, because he is very frank about his number one goal–revenue maximization. But Kam talks about brotherhood and love very frankly, in connection with his desire to play not only for himself, but for his teammates. Was that all just bs? Somehow, Kam seems to think he can reconcile those sorts of statements with abandoning his “brothers” when they need him most, when the games count, in order to line his own pockets with more guaranteed dough. I’d love to hear how he does that.

  • ll9956

    Art, you have opined that the holdout was entirely Kam’s idea. You may be right. However, there seems to be a certain amount of criticism of Kam’s agent. While it’s conceivable that he gave Kam some bad advice, it seems equally likely that he strongly urged Kam to end his holdout and Kam was just “dug in”, until now.

    One question that still seems to be simmering is whether the Hawks front office will decide to fine Kam or not. If they impose more than a token amount (like, say, $20K), and then he does something spectacular, like a game-winning pick-six, the management will be faced with a potential PR nightmare. I suspect they will conclude that Kam losing over a half mil in pay is enough punishment, albeit self-inflicted, and not risk the PR problem.

  • Kafkaeske

    Right on, Art! When the season is over, I hope the Seahawks collect every dime of the fines Chancellor owes.

  • djb

    Play unto the terms given by the new Ceasar. Classic. Plus I think there was a Ren and Stimpy reference in there.Your predictable awesome prose aside Art I think the overall point is assuming the season turns around and there is a play off run, anything less than a super bowl w will get hung on Kam and his holdout.

  • NellyJB

    Obfuscation – great word! John & Sal are laughing in Santorini! And – we have a present for you.

  • Jeff Shope

    He’s forgiving us? Does he not understand he’s now in the Steve Hutchingson category . Great player yes but both may have cost fans additional superbowls we tend to remember stuff like that