The Seattle Seahawks have signed fourth-year safety Kam Chancellor to a four-year contract extension, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports.
According to Rapoport, the extension is worth $28 million and includes $17 million in guaranteed money. Chancellor, a 2010 fifth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, had been scheduled to earn $1.323 million in non-guaranteed base salary in 2013, the final season of his rookie contract, which means Chancellor will be under contract through the 2017 season for less than $30 million.
In terms of APY (Average Per Year), Chancellor's $7 million per year extension ranks sixth among current NFL safety contracts and is equal to what Michael Griffin received from the Tennessee Titans off the franchise tag last June. However, Chancellor's $17 million in guaranteed money is larger than the $15 million in guarantees that Griffin received.
The franchise tag for the 2014 season is projected to be worth around $7 million.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Chancellor spent his rookie season in a reserve role behind Lawyer Milloy before emerging as a full-time starter in 2011. Chancellor totaled 97 tackles and a sack with four interceptions while earning Pro Bowl honors as he developed a reputation as being one of the heaviest hitting safeties in the league. In 2012, Chancellor had 101 tackles and four passes defensed.
"I really appreciate this moment," Chancellor said on Monday. "I think I deserved this moment, I think I worked hard for this moment, I didn’t think it was given to me, I think I really, really worked hard for this moment. Being that people said I couldn’t play safety in this league, getting drafted in the fifth round, these guys giving me a chance, and just being able to go out there and prove myself every day, day in and day out, showing that I could be a leader of this team and be a game changer."
Entering this week, the Seahawks were $7.2 million under their 2013 adjusted cap number of $136.7 million. Any leftover cap space can be rolled over to 2014 and beyond, but the Seahawks have several players whose contracts are expiring in the coming years. Chancellor, 25, certainly was at the top of that list, as is his safety partner, Earl Thomas, who has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons. Thomas, a 2010 first-round pick, is signed through 2014 as is All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who will be eligible for a new contract after the 2013 season.
Getting Chancellor done was a priority, GM John Schneider said.
“From the get go. Anything that happened other than being able to sign Kam was going to be a bonus for us," said Schneider. "It was our absolute number one priority (this offseason), we talked about it for a long time, and when we had started this thing I told Kam this is the first time he’s gone through this. It takes two to get a deal, his representative Alvin Keels did a great job, but it just takes time. We can’t stop conducting business just because we have such a fondness for Kam Chancellor and we want to get something done, so we had to continue to conduct business the way we deemed appropriate, as well as being able to have that model in place where Kam was compensated the way he should be.
"I’d rather not get in to who we’re working on or who we’re not working on," Schneider said about addressing other upcoming free agents. "Obviously you’ve heard me now talk the last couple of weeks talk about these models. Kam is the first step in that process."