Two years ago, Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor tried to get a new contract by holding out into the regular season. It didn’t work.
On Tuesday, Chancellor finally got what he wanted. It’s still not clear what he exactly got.
Sure, the initial reports had Chancellor getting $36 million over three years with $25 million guaranteed. But that’s how the game gets played, and more and more fans are beginning to understand it.
The player or his agent leak the information to reporter(s) who will pass the information along without analysis or scrutiny, getting the best possible characterization into the public consciousness (and onto the ESPN/NFL Network crawls) when the news is fresh. Then, after everyone has moved on to something else, the truth comes out — a truth that often makes the deal look less advantageous than the initial reports.
For example, by simply saying “$25 million guaranteed,” there’s no way to discern how much is fully guaranteed at signing, and how much is guaranteed only for injury. That’s a fairly important distinction, one that almost never is made in the initial reporting on any deal.
Also, the three years/$36 million characterization suggests that the deal is worth $12 million per year, putting him near the top of the market for the safety position. That’s the “new money” analysis; factoring in the $6.8 million that Chancellor already was due to make in 2017, it’s a four-year $42.8 million deal. That’s an average of $10.7 million, not $12 million.
Soon, we’ll know more about the signing bonus, the full guarantee, the structure, and (perhaps most importantly) the year in which the Seahawks would be likely either to squeeze Chancellor to take less or rip up the deal.
That’s the power the team will have, each and every year for the next four. And it further underscores the imbalance between management and labor, since the players are stuck with their contracts (as Chancellor learned the hard way in 2015) and the teams aren’t.