The Kam Chancellor Watch has officially taken on a new sense of urgency at Seahawks training camp with head coach Pete Carroll admitting Wednesday that the All-Pro strong safety's holdout has become "an issue of concern."
Chancellor, 27, is under contract through 2017 and scheduled to make 4.55 million in base salary this season as part of the four year $28 million dollar extension he signed two years ago.
Carroll sounded frustrated during his meeting with the media following Wednesday's practice, explaining that he hadn't talked to Chancellor "in a couple days" when asked if there was a resolution in sight.
As Carroll did on Sunday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider was quick to point out Wednesday that the club misses Chancellor personally but when asked on Sirius NFL radio about when the big hitter may come back to camp, Schneider replied simply "I don't know."
Some have speculated that Chancellor is holding out now because he senses that he holds some leverage over the team with fellow All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas sidelined indefinitely following offseason labrum surgery. That ended Wednesday with Thomas passing his physical and rejoining his teammates on the field. Thomas did not practice in pads as the club attempts to ease him back into the fold.
DeShawn Shead has replaced Chancellor as the first-team strong safety over the first five days of camp and has generally been solid but isn't the same intimidating presence over the middle and has had some bad reps.
Privately, the Seahawks are sympathetic to Chancellor's request. They gush about his leadership and toughness and don't want to lose him. The club is quick to point out that Chancellor was one of the first to be extended in part because of his importance on and off the field to the team. During the Sirius interview, Schneider said that it was hard not for it to be "personal" because of the "love" he has for Chancellor.
The real frustration on the team's part is that regardless of how much they may want to reward Chancellor, the club simply can't do anything right now. As one source on the team put it, "Nothing can change on our end."
The club sounds resigned to the possibility that Chancellor may hold out for the long-term.