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Seahawks release Doug Baldwin, Kam Chancellor after failed physicals

UPDATED: Thu., May 9, 2019, 6:15 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin  catches a touchdown pass ahead of San Francisco 49ers defensive back K’Waun Williams  on Dec. 2, 2018, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin catches a touchdown pass ahead of San Francisco 49ers defensive back K’Waun Williams on Dec. 2, 2018, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
By Tim Booth Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. – Doug Baldwin appears to be another step closer to retirement after being released by the Seattle Seahawks because of a failed physical.

The veteran wide receiver was one of two stars from Seattle’s consecutive NFC championship teams to have his contract terminated Thursday.

Safety Kam Chancellor, who did not play last season due to a neck injury suffered in November 2017, was also released due to a failed physical. Chancellor remained on Seattle’s roster last season for salary purposes and was on the physically unable to perform list but was not expected to play again following the injury.

Baldwin’s failed physical is the latest sign his career could be over. Baldwin had surgery in the offseason to repair shoulder and groin injuries and he also had a knee procedure. Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said recently that it would be a challenge for Baldwin to recover from the surgeries and that he was contemplating retirement.

Baldwin had remained silent on his future in recent weeks, but his Seattle career is over.

“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” 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.”

Baldwin was an undrafted free agent who became a star. He had 50 receptions for 618 yards and five touchdowns last season while hampered by injuries. He missed a large chunk of training camp due to a knee injury, two games in September with a separate knee injury and he played through both groin and hip issues.

Baldwin is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who has twice topped 1,000 yards receiving. He led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches in 2015 and a year later had a career-high 94 catches. Baldwin has started 76 of the past 77 games for the Seahawks dating to 2014 and has been the most trusted pass catcher for Russell Wilson during their time together.

Chancellor declared last July in a social media post that it was “time for a new chapter” after scans on his injured neck showed no improvement. Chancellor said in the post that doctors had told him paralysis was a possibility.

He signed an extension through the 2020 season last August which contained guaranteed money in case of injury. An official retirement could open up the possibility of forfeiting some of that money. Chancellor’s extension was signed before the start of last season and included a total of $25 million in guaranteed money.

Chancellor was named to four Pro Bowl teams (2011, 2013-15) and was twice a second-team All-Pro selection (2013, 2014). He appeared in 109 career games for Seattle with 93 starts after being selected in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft.

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