While it's still uncertain if a neck injury suffered last season will allow the Pro Bowl strong safety to ever play football again, it has been expected that he will remain with the team for the time being as his medical situation is sorted out. That seems even more certain now that Chancellor's entire $6.8 million base salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.
The three-year, $36 million extension Chancellor signed last summer called for his '18 salary to become fully guaranteed if he were to remain on Seattle's roster through Friday, which was the fifth day of the new league year waiver period. That money was guaranteed for injury only at the time of signing.
That deadline had led to some speculation that the Seahawks might cut Chancellor, but that wasn't much of an option.
NFL rules make it difficult to cut injured players. It could have led to a grievance, which is a can of worms the Seahawks would surely not want to open given Chancellor's standing as one of the most revered members of the organization. Aside from potentially getting messy, cutting Chancellor would have meant his $9.6 million cap hit for 2018 skyrocketing to $19.5 million as future cap charges would be moved up. That's an unwieldy figure for any team let alone one without much cap space like Seattle.
The two sides could have, in theory, reached a settlement, but as former NFL agent Joel Corry has pointed out, Chancellor would have little financial incentive to settle with a total of $12 million in injury guarantees over the next two seasons. Of his $10 million base salary for 2019, $5.2 million is guaranteed for injury.
As for the possibility of Chancellor retiring any time soon, that remains unlikely as well. By doing so, he would forfeit $12 million in injury guarantees over the next two seasons. Technically, he could also be on the hook for repaying $7.5 million in remaining signing bonus proration.
All of that has led to the belief that he would remain with the Seahawks, even with his football future in doubt. Unless Chancellor makes a turn and is able to pass a physical some time later this offseason -- recall coach Pete Carroll saying at season's end that he and Cliff Avril are going to "have a hard time playing football again" -- one possibility is that he begins next season on the physically unable to perform list.
Chancellor, who turns 30 in April, spent part of this week modeling clothes at the Grungy Gentleman Runway Show as part of Fashion Week in New York. That industry has been an interest of his and one that Chancellor may pursue after football. But the passing of Friday's roster deadline is another sign that his post-football life isn't about to begin just yet.
"He's doing phenomenal," cornerback Richard Sherman said Thursday night from an awards show in Seattle. "He and his wife are traveling around. They went to Italy. I think they're in New York at some fashion show. But he's in great spirits. He's healing up. Everything is testing and things like that. He has to go back and get an MRI every couple months, so there's not much he can do. It's not like there's any rehab you can do to heal it."
In addition to Chancellor, three other Seahawks had either a portion of their 2018 base salary or the full amount become fully guaranteed on Friday. They are: quarterback Russell Wilson ($4.9 million of $15.5 million), wide receiver Doug Baldwin ($4.5 million of $8.25 million) and center Justin Britt (all $2.75 million).