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Kam Chancellor's holdout is over as he returns to Seahawks

Chancellor is back with the Seahawks after a lengthy holdout that kept him out of the first two weeks of the season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks and Kam Chancellor are at odds no more. The safety officially returned to the team Wednesday after holding out for the first two games of the regular season. Adam Schefter and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN were the first to report the news.

Chancellor, 27, will still be playing under a four-year extension he signed in 2013. Since then, he has cemented himself as one of the best strong safeties in the league, as he's earned Pro Bowl honors and second-team All-Pro honors in consecutive seasons. While he wanted a new deal, the Seahawks have been reluctant to accept his terms and Chancellor will return to the Seahawks without a new contract.

The safety sent Smith a text message on Wednesday morning explaining his decision to return to Seattle.

"Ima go help my teammates that are understanding of my position and the ones who aren't. God forgives all, why can't i? Time to help us get back to the big dance . I can address business after the season. Me and Marshawn started a mission 2 years ago. I can't let my Dawg down....Real talk."

Chancellor racked up more than $2 million in fines during his absence, but players who return from lengthy holdouts typically get a reduction of those fees. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, the Seahawks previously told Chancellor's agent that the fines would not be forgiven, although a reduction of the number will be discussed.

The Seahawks have signed several members of their core to lucrative contracts over the last year and a half. Chancellor's partner at safety, Earl Thomas, signed a four-year, $40 million deal with nearly $26 million guaranteed last April, which made him the NFL's first safety to earn $10 million per season. The following month, star cornerback Richard Sherman inked a four-year, $56 million extension with $40 million guaranteed. That contract made him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL as well.


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This offseason, Seattle re-upped Marshawn Lynch for two additional seasons, bringing the total of his deal to $31 million over the next three years. The five-time Pro Bowler was reportedly considering retirement before the Seahawks offered him the deal.

One of the reasons why Seattle was able to lock up Thomas, Sherman and Lynch was because quarterback Russell Wilson was still playing under his rookie contract, which paid him less than $1 million per season. But that all changed in July, when Wilson signed a four-year, $87.6 million extension with roughly $60 million guaranteed.

Now like most other championship contenders, the Seahawks are paying their quarterback top dollar. But that didn't stop them from signing linebacker Bobby Wagner to a four-year, $43 million extension with $22 million guaranteed in early August.

History tells us the Seahawks will eventually have to make some difficult -- and probably unpopular -- financial decisions. Perhaps the first victim will be defensive end Michael Bennett, who wants a new contract as well.

But up until this point, Seattle has been able to re-sign most members of its championship core, and while Chancellor hasn't yet received a new contract, he will return to the Seahawks, who need his contributions after a 0-2 start. After a loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, safety Earl Thomas admitted his frustrations with Chancellor's hold out in a discussion with Michael Silver of

"At this moment, he's not battling with us, so I can't really tell you what (his absence means)," Thomas told me in a private conversation at his locker. "It would be great if he comes back, but we're gonna keep on truckin' ... You never know what's going on with someone in that situation. He's in a whole other place right now. He's handling his situation, (rather than) helping us. I try not to deal with that energy."

Many of the problems for the Seahawks in the first two weeks of the season were self-inflicted, which is something that Chancellor should be able to help correct. Part of the reason the safety was holding out in the first place was because he didn't believe he was properly compensated for the leadership he provides in the Seattle secondary.

It's unknown if Chancellor will be back in the Seattle lineup in time for a Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears, but the team will have a roster exemption for two weeks, allowing them to carry 54 players on the roster. If Chancellor returns to action against the Bears, the Seahawks will have to release a player to get back to 53.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was excited about the news that Chancellor is back and took to Twitter to celebrate:

The Seahawks are big favorites against Chicago, who will start Jimmy Clausen at quarterback due to a hamstring injury for Jay Cutler.

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SB Nation video archives: Chancellor's huge play in playoff win (2015)