It’s the end of an era in the Emerald City: Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor are no longer active members of the Seattle Seahawks.
The team announced Thursday that they are terminating the contracts of both players with failed physical designations.
"The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement. "These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community. These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family."
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Two of the most iconic players of the Legion of Boom era, Baldwin and Chancellor were both sidelined by injuries in recent seasons, setbacks that have likely proven career-ending.
Baldwin has undergone three surgeries since the end of the 2018 season, the latest one a sports hernia operation that was set to sideline him for at least two months. After reports emerged during the draft in late April that the receiver was considering calling it quits, Schneider confirmed Baldwin’s intentions to reporters. "We know Doug’s going to have a hard time," the Seahawks GM said.
Thursday’s release is "likely the end of the road" for Baldwin, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, solely due to health-related issues. In addition to the groin injury suffered this season, Baldwin battled knee and shoulder ailments.
If he retires, Baldwin will leave the game with 493 receptions (third in Seahawks history), 6,593 receiving yards (third) and 49 receiving touchdowns (second). Not bad for an undrafted free agent-turned-two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion.
In his likely final season as a pro, Baldwin caught 50 balls for 610 yards and five scores, including three catches for 32 yards in his last game, Seattle’s wild-card loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Absent from the field in 2018, Chancellor never officially retired following a career-threatening neck injury in 2017. The Seahawks safety spent the entire season on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list instead.
Like Baldwin, Chancellor is expected to retire now. The safety, drafted by Seattle in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, said 10 months ago in a lengthy social media post that he believed he had played his last game.
With Baldwin and Chancellor off the roster, Seattle now employs just three players who were on their Super Bowl-winning squad from 2013: Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson and K.J. Wright.
In their stead are unproven replacements. Baldwin will be spelled by rookie D.K. Metcalf and David Moore. Chancellor was replaced last year by Bradley McDougald.
Seattle might be able to replicate the duo’s production in the coming years. But in losing Baldwin and Chancellor, the Seahawks are saying goodbye to two of the greatest leaders the organization has ever seen, on and off the field. Men like them aren’t so easy to find.
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