Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor said it's "Time for the Next chapter" in a posting on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon after an apparent meeting with doctors showed no improvement in his injured neck.
Chancellor had been set to see doctors for a follow-up scan of his injuries sustained in a game against the Arizona Cardinals in November. The injury ended his season and brought his continued football career into doubt.
It seems the prognosis did not yield the results Chancellor was hoping for.
"To walk away from the game by choice is one thing," Chancellor wrote. "To walk away from the game because of the risk of paralysis is another. My final test showed no healing.
"I always prayed to God and told myself that I would play this game of football until the wheels fell off. Well the wheels didn't fall off, but God has given me a sign that I just can't ignore. I've played through all types of bruises and injuries at a high level. But this one, I just can't ignore."
Chancellor's statement didn't explicitly say the word "retirement," but the inference was reasonably clear. He may not officially announce his retirement due to financial reasons. The contract he signed prior to last season guaranteed him $12 million in case of injury. A retirement could also entitle the Seahawks to, hypothetically, seek repayment of a portion of his signing bonus, though it's doubtful they would go down that route for a player that has been such an important part of their success this decade.
Chancellor was named to four Pro Bowl teams (2011, 2013-15) and was twice a second-team All-Pro selection (2013, 2014). He appeared in 109 career games for Seattle with 93 starts after being selected in the fifth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft. After serving as a backup to Lawyer Milloy as a rookie, Chancellor assumed the starting role in 2011.
He recorded 12 interceptions and nine forced fumbles over eight seasons with the Seahawks and provided some of the most memorable plays of the team's run of consecutive Super Bowl appearances in 2013 and 2014.
From his bone crushing hits of Vernon Davis, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Winston and others, to his pick-six of Cam Newton in the 2014 Divisional Round, to a forced fumble of Calvin Johnson at the goal line after returning from a contract hold out in 2015, Chancellor has been one of the biggest contributors to Seattle's sustained defensive success.
Chancellor becomes the third Seahawks player forced to walk away from the game due to neck injuries in recent seasons. Defensive end Cliff Avril (2017) and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette (2015) each suffered injuries that forced them away from the field.
Photo Credit: FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts following a game against the New England Patriots during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)