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Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor is stepping away from football, citing risk of further injury and his inability to recover from past trauma, he announced via Twitter on Sunday afternoon.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport expanded on Chancellor’s announcement, saying the Legion of Boom legend wasn’t cleared by doctors to play again. Essentially, he’ll still get paid without officially retiring:
Now former #Seahawks S Kam Chancellor isn’t officially retiring, he just wasn’t cleared medically to play again. Big difference. That means $6.2M this year and $5.2M of his base salary next year are guaranteed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 1, 2018
Chancellor, an eight-year veteran who was selected to four Pro Bowls, sustained a serious neck injury in November 2017 that sidelined him for the rest of the season. Shortly after, head coach Pete Carroll said that both Chancellor and teammate Cliff Avril were “going to have a hard time playing football again,” but that nothing certain could be said.
In late May, Chancellor said of his future: “If my body says I can play, I’m going play.”
He underwent scans in early June that ultimately confirmed that his body was not recovering well from his injuries.
“God has given me a sign I can’t ignore,” he wrote in his announcement. “To walk away from the game by choice is one thing, to walk away from the game because of the risk of paralysis is another. My final test showed no healing.”
At the end of his announcement Chancellor added a somewhat alarming note, presumably referring to worry over the potential onset of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) symptoms: “Pray for your boy. I have no clue how these head injuries will go after the game.”
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