It’s the end of an era in Seattle:
Two Seattle icons.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) May 9, 2019
The Seahawks released wide receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with a failed physical designation, which all but points to each player’s career being at its end. Baldwin reportedly was considering retirement after an injury-shortened year that was followed by multiple offseason surgeries. Chancellor has been dinged up in recent years, too. A neck injury in 2017 led Chancellor to essentially announce his retirement in July 2018 via this Twitter post. But because he didn’t officially retire, his release on Thursday means he’ll get to collect some of the $5.2 million salary he was due in 2019.
Both players were key cogs in the most successful stretch of football in Seahawks history and were part of the team’s Super Bowl XLVIII victory against the Broncos in February 2014. Baldwin, 30, steps away from the game with his name etched near the top of the franchise receiving marks. He has the second most touchdown receptions (49), third-most catches (493), and the third-highest total in receiving yards (6,593) in franchise history. Chancellor, 31, was a four-time Pro Bowl safety who was named to the Associated Press’ All-Pro second team in 2014 and 2016 and voted a top-100 player in every season between 2014 and 2018. Big-play ability was the calling card of Chancellor’s career as he came up with 12 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles, and three fumble-recoveries.
Even though Chancellor and Baldwin are gone, the Seahawks still figure to be a formidable foe moving forward. The team chose Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and he has as much potential to break out in a big way at that position. Earlier in the second round, the team selected Utah safety Marquise Blair, a hard-hitting safety who could be a plug-and-play guy depending how he develops during the offseason training program.
So long as quarterback Russell Wilson is healthy and Pete Carroll is calling the shot as the head coach, you can figure Seattle to be in it to win it in 2019. The Bears don’t play the Seahawks next year, but the Vikings, Falcons, Eagles, Panthers, and Saints — five teams who figure to contend for a postseason spot in the NFC — are on the Seahawks’ slate. Toss in two games against last year’s Super Bowl runner-ups (Rams) and a team that was supposed to contend (49ers), and it feels safe to say Seattle will have a say in what the playoff picture looks like next year in the NFC. Unfortunately, the Seahawks won’t have two players who were integral pieces of their most successful postseason runs.