While Kam Chancellor's holdout in Seattle stretches into Week 3 of the NFL season, there is another contentious contract battle in Minnesota that might have already moved past the point of no return.
Ragnar -- the Vikings' "human mascot" -- wasn’t on the field with the team for its home opener on Sunday, after his contract expired and the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on a new deal. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Ragnar was asking for $20,000 per game -- up from the per-game figure of about $1,500 he was making last season. That works out to an increase of roughly 1,333 percent. If Chancellor were after the same raise, he would be asking for $63 million this season.
To get you up to speed on two of the hottest salary disputes in the NFL, we’ve prepared this handy tale of the tape.
So here’s how the tale of the tape would look, with ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Sheil Kapadia providing the Chancellor breakdown:
Ragnar: "human mascot," Minnesota Vikings
Chancellor: strong safety, Seattle Seahawks
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Ragnar: It’s either performing at more than 160 home games with the Vikings, or the time in 1982 when, he claims, he shaved his beard with an axe in eight minutes, 43 seconds.
Chancellor: A 10-tackle performance in the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII victory against the Denver Broncos.
Ragnar: Flowing hair, long, scraggly beard, horned helmet, burly, tattooed biceps, fur coat, motorcycle.
Chancellor: Dark visor that adds to the intimidation factor as he patrols the middle of the field and levels unsuspecting receivers.
Ragnar: Free agent, after "multiple conversations" about a new contract with the Vikings were unsuccessful.
Chancellor: Signed an extension in 2013 that keeps him under contract with the Seahawks through 2017.
Ragnar: about $12,000 ($1,500 per home game)
Chancellor: $4.725 million
2015 DESIRED SALARY
Ragnar: $160,000. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Ragnar was after a salary of $20,000 per game, which would have put him in the ranks of the highest-paid mascots in professional sports (the Phoenix Suns' Gorilla, for example, has reportedly made $200,000 a year).
Chancellor: Unknown. Unlike Ragnar, Chancellor doesn’t appear to be looking for a raise. Instead, he wants future money to be guaranteed, and the Seahawks seem unwilling to give in. "Nothing’s changed," said Seattle coach Pete Carroll on Monday when asked if the lines of communication are still open.
Ragnar: Joe Juranitch, who plays Ragnar, already has another line of business: Razor Edge Systems, a business based in Ely, Minnesota, that sells sharpeners for everything from industrial meat cutters to hunting knives. He’s also worked as an actor. He had a role in a short 1999 film called "20/20 Vision." The movie starred Jesse Ventura, who at the time had just been inaugurated as the governor of Minnesota.
Chancellor: He has been posting pics of himself doing yoga on Instagram. Opening up his own studio could be an option. It might not scratch Chancellor’s competitive itch, but at least he wouldn’t have to worry about covering Rob Gronkowski.