The Seattle Seahawks officially severed ties with two longtime standouts who are expected to retire due to health concerns, waiving wideout Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.
“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” 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.”
The news was expected for the 31-year-old Chancellor, who sat out all of last season with a neck injury that was described as career ending.
Baldwin’s playing future was revealed to be in doubt during the draft in late April, when ESPN reported the 30-year-old receiver might have already played his final game, due to an accumulation of injuries.
Baldwin is recovering from three offseason surgeries — on his knee, shoulder and abdomen — after battling nagging injuries throughout the 2018 campaign. Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll appeared to be holding out hope Baldwin could keep playing, before Thursday’s news.
NFL Network reports Baldwin is “leaning toward” retirement, with his release allowing him to keep his signing bonus and possibly future injury-protection money.
An undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2011, Baldwin had 493 catches for 6,563 yards and 49 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Seahawks, reaching the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017 and playing in 123 of a possible 128 games (90 starts). He ranks third in team history in catches and yards and second in receiving touchdowns.
Chancellor was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in 2010 and went on to make four Pro Bowls, intercepting 12 passes and breaking up 44 in 109 career games (93 starts) across eight seasons before missing 2018.
Both players were a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII winning team and the squad that lost Super Bowl XLIV to the New England Patriots a year later.