A year ago at this time, the Seahawks had all kinds of financial turmoil — and it ultimately played a role in ruining team chemistry and the season.
Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner needed extensions. Bruce Irvin was unhappy his option had not been picked up. Michael Bennett was dissatisfied with his brand-new deal. And, unbeknownst to everyone in June, Kam Chancellor was the most displeased of all.
As it turned out, Chancellor was the only player who caused a ruckus, holding out until the third week of the season, but it was a distraction that did indeed affect chemistry and performance. The Seahawks ultimately fell short of a third straight Super Bowl because of it.
This June, the Seahawks seemingly are one big, happy family again — of one mind as they prepare for a Super Bowl redux. Sure, Bennett and Chancellor still feel they are underpaid. And Doug Baldwin is waiting to get a new contract. But, out of their own mouths, none of those three are going to hold out and screw up team chemistry.
Last month, Baldwin said, “I’m not too worried about it. I know that I’ve got one year left on my contract, so I’m going to be with the Seattle Seahawks this year regardless. So I’m just going to focus on that — the task at hand — which is being the best that I can be for my teammates this season.”
Chancellor reiterated this week that he will not sit out again. At an event promoting his new shoe line, he said, “That’s in the past. I’m just happy to be back.”
At minicamp Tuesday, Pete Carroll raved about Chancellor: “He has been awesome. He has been such a great leader for us. He has been just on point. … He’s got a big voice here. When he speaks, everybody shuts up and listens.”
Like last year, Bennett skipped voluntary OTAs. But, also like last year, he appeared for the mandatory camp.
“I just want to be a great teammate, show up, show my support, do everything I need to do so we can get back to the Super Bowl,” he said. “I’m very motivated to get back to the Super Bowl. Obviously it’s in my hometown. Me and my brother (New England tight end Martellus Bennett), that’s all we talk about. That’s all it’s about.’’
That’s all it’s about for everyone, and that’s why no one is going to screw it up by holding out.