As a fifth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech in 2010, safety Kam Chancellor didn’t get to experience the hype and festivities that surround high draft picks.
But Chancellor, who just turned 25 this month, got his moment Monday when the Seahawks announced they signed him to a four-year contract extension through 2017. According to ESPN’s John Clayton, the deal is worth $35 million over five years, with $17 million guaranteed.
“We’re trying to make a big deal out of this day for Kam,” general manager John Schneider said. “This is Kam’s day. Kam was a fifth-round draft pick. He hasn’t been able to experience something like this. Hopefully he’s here for the rest of his career.”
Said Chancellor, who posed on a stage holding his jersey with Schneider and coach Pete Carroll: “I really appreciate this moment. I think I deserve this moment. I worked hard for this moment. I didn’t think it was given to me.”
Chancellor had one-year left on his four-year rookie contract entering this season, but Schneider said extending Chancellor’s contract was the team’s top priority in what has been a busy offseason.
“Anything that happened other than being able to sign Kam was a bonus,” Schneider said. “It was our absolute No. 1 priority. We talked about it for a long time.
“This whole offseason, from the get-go, has been about Kam. We would have never gotten into any other deals if we felt it was going to put his situation in jeopardy.”
Chancellor played on special teams as a rookie as he sat behind veteran safety Lawyer Milloy. But he played well enough in his second year to make the Pro Bowl as an alternate, and he has developed into one of the league’s biggest hitters.
In fact, Chancellor, who has been fined by the league in the past for some of his hits, joked, “I guess I can put a little pot to the side now.”
“He is a leader,” Carroll said. “H’s a great football player. He’s a physical guy that plays right in the vein of the way we want to play. He stands for toughness and being physical.”
There was speculation this offseason about the Seahawks’ chances of keeping core pieces like Chancellor once their rookie contracts neared an end. That was particularly true with Seattle’s young secondary, which is considered one of the best, if not the best, in the league. As Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said about the Seahawks’ secondary recently, “They got a bargain with those guys. But it ain’t going to be a bargain much longer.”
Fellow secondary members Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are scheduled to become free agents in 2015. Schneider wouldn’t elaborate on who the team is negotiating with, but he did make it clear that locking up Chancellor was crucial.
“They told me at the end of last season that they were going to take care of me because they knew I was a core guy that worked hard all the time and led by example,” Chancellor said. “I just feel blessed right now. I feel like I’m in a good situation and good spot. I’m glad I can put this behind me and concentrate on football and leading this program to a championship. That’s all we’re about right now.”