Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor has confirmed that he will be retiring from professional football, following eight years in the NFL. Chancellor suffered a severe neck injury in 2017, and has now revealed that any attempts to reignite his career could have serious implications for his overall health.
Kam Chancellor was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft. A stand out player during his time at Virginia Tech, Chancellor quickly established himself as a capable defensive option for the Seahawks, experiencing a remarkable season in 2013, that ended with the Seattle franchise earning an emphatic 43-8 Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos.
A four-time Pro Bowl player, Chancellor was perhaps expecting to play on well into his 30s, and in August 2017, the 30-year-old signed a new three-year contract extension with the Seahawks, thought to be worth around $36 million with $25 million guaranteed. By November however, Chancellor’s career would take a huge turn, when he suffered a life-changing neck injury. Chancellor was placed on the injured reserve the following month, yet the severity of his injury would not come to light until earlier this week.
In a heartfelt statement posted to twitter, Chancellor explained: “I always prayed to God and told myself that I would play this game of football until the wheels fall off. Well the wheels didn’t fall off, but God has given me a sign that I just can’t ignore,”
adding: “I’ve played through all types of bruises and injuries at a high level. But this one, I just can’t ignore. 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. I put all my blood, sweat, and tears into this game […] I’ve learned so many valuable lessons I can take with me on the next journey. How to use them? I don’t know yet. But I will wait for His instructions.”
Chancellor’s statement has been met with thousands of replies by fans and fellow players, with the likes of Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas paying tribute to the talented safety.