A key Seahawks player is losing a ton of money in a holdout that has no end in sight

Seattle’s All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor has been holding out of Seahawks training camp for nine days and will reportedly continue to do so until he renegotiates his contract, per Field Gulls. Following an off-season in which multiple Seahawks earned large contract extensions, Chancellor wants to join the club and get his.

But for all his talent, the strong safety has very little leverage as he attempts to negotiate a new deal. Seattle has a strict policy of only renegotiating contracts during their final year and doesn’t want to set a precedent that does otherwise. Chancellor, meanwhile, is under contract until 2017.

The holdout is not ust about principle, however. Like all holdouts, it’s ultimately about money, and the Seahawks are strapped for cash. Chancellor will make $US4.55 million in 2015, per spotrac.com, and Seattle only has $US4.9 million left in cap space. This makes the likelihood of a bigger deal with more guaranteed money quite tricky, and so the stalemate presses on.

The longer Chancellor holds out, the more money he’ll continue to lose. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times nicely explained the details of how punitively teams can fine players during holdouts, all as part of the most recent CBA:

[T]he team can fine [Chancellor] for $US30,000 for every day missed, so up to $US330,000 at this point, along with the ability to recoup up to 25 per cent of his signing bonus for this season (which as $US1 million) if he misses all of training camp. The way that rule works is the team can ask to recoup 15 per cent of his bonus after the sixth day and then one per cent a day up to 25 per cent. So, Chancellor would be subject to fines of up to $US530,000 as of today. But fines are at team discretion and often waived once a player reports.

If Chancellor somehow didn’t get a deal done before the start of the regular season, the penalties would increase further. Joel Corry, a former sports agent, broke down holdouts last year at CBS Sports:

An additional 25 per cent can be recovered with the first missed regular season game. After four missed weeks, a team can recover 1/17 of the prorated amount for each additional week of the player’s absence. The maximum a team can recover in a season is the entire prorated amount of the player’s signing bonus.

It’s highly unlikely that Chancellor will miss any regular season games, but if he does, it will cost him $US267,647 on top of the holdout fines. Right now, with Chancellor holding out and Earl Thomas still slowly recovering from injury, the Legion of Boom will open its first preseason game with a safety tandem of DeShawn Shead and Steven Terrell. Nobody wants that when the games start to matter. At some point either the Seahawks will have to change their rule on renegotiation or Chancellor will have to swallow his pride.

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