Pete Carroll seemed like he was preparing to close the book on the Legion of Boom. Richard Sherman has been the topic of trade talk all year long, and Earl Thomas’ name was also starting to creep into the conversation. And Kam Chancellor, the All-Pro safety that put the boom in Legion of Boom, looked to be headed toward retirement.
The Seattle Seahawks head coach’s explanation was Chancellor would have a “hard time playing football again” after missing nearly half of the 2017 season with a neck injury. All of the grim talk surrounding the injury led many to believe that Chancellor was hanging up his cleats and leaving Carroll with the freedom to blow up the defense without rattling too many feathers.
Pete Carroll on @710ESPNSeattle talking about turnover, says there are "a lot of dealings to be done," but he "loves the nucleus that we have." Adds some players will be coming back from injury: "Cliff and Kam are going to have a hard time playing football again." #Seahawks
— Stacy Jo Rost (@StacyRost) January 2, 2018
The Seahawks have been a ticking time-bomb since losing to New England Patriots at Super Bowl XLIX. According to ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, it’s a brooding environment inside the locker room with plenty of finger-pointing. Thomas and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner even got into public spat late in the season.
The thread holding together one of the greatest defenses of all time was quickly unraveling as the Seahawks devolved into a team that couldn’t even make it to the playoffs.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Chancellor fully intends on playing in 2018, assuming he passes a physical. That puts Carroll in a precarious spot if he was still considering blowing up the Seahawks’ secondary.
“Answering one part of a looming question for the #Seahawks: S Kam Chancellor [neck] does intend to play in 2018 if he gets medically cleared, I’m told,” wrote Rapoport. “No plans to retire [despite some murky social media posts]. His $6.8M for 2018 was fully guaranteed on 2/9.”
Chancellor was still good enough to make the Pro Bowl last season, despite only playing in nine full games. He finished the year with 49 tackles, two pass deflections and a forced fumble.
His neck injury will obviously be a concern heading into next season, and it could ignite trade talk in the offseason, particularly if the team moves on from Sherman. Moving on from those big-money contracts would pave the way for Carroll to put more focus on the offensive side of the ball.
On the other hand, his presence, along with Thomas and Sherman, would ensure that one of the league’s most formidable secondary units remain intact. However, by keeping them, the Seahawks would miss out on another year of maximizing their trade value.
The Seahawks are Russell Wilson’s team now, and Carroll is going to make the necessary moves to give his quarterback the best chance to succeed. That could mean saying goodbye to the unit that made the team relevant again.
The Legion of Boom could be months away from becoming the Legion of Doomed.