Former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril applauded Kam Chancellor’s decision to walk away from the game with respect to his neck injury.
“He’s making the right decision,” the 32-year-old Avril said of his former teammate on SiriusXM Blitz. “No one wants to leave the game on someone else’s terms, I guess, in a sense.
“But at the same time, your health is way more important than any of this stuff. What good does it do for you to play this game for a long time, make a lot of money, but then at the end of it, you can’t enjoy it? So for him, I think that’s the approach he’s taking right now and I can appreciate that, where he’s at with that.
“He’s going to continue to do great things, I believe. But him leaving the game right now, unfortunately it’s too early, but he’s a heck of a ball player and everybody will definitely remember him.”
Chancellor took to Twitter on Sunday to announce that it’s “time for the next chapter” of his life after test results on his injured neck showed no improvement.
Although Chancellor never used the word “retirement” in his long social media post, all signs point to the four-time Pro Bowl safety never playing another down for the Seahawks.
“To walk away from the game by choice is one thing, to walk away from the game because of the risk of paralysis is another,” the 30-year-old Chancellor tweeted.
Last season, Chancellor was limited to a career-low nine games because of the neck injury suffered in November during a game against the Arizona Cardinals.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2010 out of Virginia Tech, Chancellor spent his entire playing career in Seattle and won one Super Bowl ring when the Seahawks took down the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
In 109 career games, Chancellor totaled 434 tackles, 12 interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
Avril was released by the Seahawks with a failed physical designation on May 4. He sustained a neck injury last October, after which Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the pass-rush specialist would have a “hard time playing football again.”
A third-round pick (92nd overall) by Detroit in 2008, Avril played five seasons with the Lions before signing with the Seahawks in 2013. He has collected 74 sacks in 140 games over 10 seasons and was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl.