Walter Jones is Semifinalist for 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame
November 21, 2013
By Bill Boehlke
Former Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones, who was an integral piece of Seattle ’s 2005 Super Bowl team, is one of 25 semifinalists for induction next year into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jones, 39, was a nine-time Pro Bowler during his 13 seasons in the NFL (1997-2009) and was an All-Pro first team selection four times. He (#71) is one of three players whose numbers have been retired by the franchise, along with Steve Largent (#80) and Cortez Kennedy (#96).
Both Largent and Kennedy are inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As one of the game’s best-ever offensive linemen, Jones seems like a shoo-in for induction — if not in 2014, then certainly sometime down the line.
Starting in each of his 180 games in Seattle, the Seahawks attempted more than 5,500 passes with Jones on the field, while Jones gave up a total of only 23 quarterback sacks, and was penalized for holding just nine times. He paved the way for Shaun Alexander’s NFL record-setting success. From 1998 through 2000, he also helped Ricky Watters achieve three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the Seahawks.
Jones was recognized by John Madden as the best player in the NFL in 2004 in a broadcast. Madden recognized Jones in numerous broadcasts as the best left tackle in the NFL and possibly one of the best of all time.
Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren called Jones the best offensive player he had ever coached. Holmgren had previously coached superstars including Joe Montana, Steve Young and Brett Favre.
The 25 semifinalists for the Class of 2014 were chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee out of 126 nominees. The list will be reduced to 15 finalists by Jan. 8 and the inductees will be announced Feb. 1, on the eve of the Super Bowl. Jones is a semifinalist for the first time since he retired after the 2009 season.
The 24 other semifinalists are:
- Morten Andersen, K — 1982-2004 (Saints, Falcons, Giants, Chiefs, Vikings)
- Steve Atwater, S — 1989-99 (Broncos, Jets)
- Jerome Bettis, RB — 1993-2005 (LA/STL Rams, Steelers)
- Derrick Brooks, LB — 1995-2008 (Buccaneers)
- Tim Brown, WR/KR — 1988-2004 (LA/OAK Raiders, Buccaneers)
- Don Coryell, coach — 1973-86 (STL Cardinals, Chargers)
- Roger Craig, RB — 1983-93 (49ers, LA Raiders, Vikings)
- Terrell Davis, RB — 1995-2001 (Broncos)
- Edward DeBartolo Jr., owner — 1977-2000 (49ers)
- Tony Dungy, coach — 1996-2009 (Buccaneers, Colts)
- Kevin Greene, LB/DE — 1985-97 (LA Rams, Steelers, Panthers, 49ers)
- Charles Haley, DE/LB — 1986-96 (49ers, Cowboys)
- Marvin Harrison, WR — 1996-2008 (Colts)
- Joe Jacoby, T — 1981-93 (Redskins)
- Jimmy Johnson, coach — 1989-93 (Cowboys), ’96-99 (Dolphins)
- John Lynch, FS — 1993-2007 (Buccaneers, Broncos)
- Karl Mecklenburg, LB — 1983-94 (Broncos)
- Andre Reed, WR — 1985-2000 (Bills, Redskins)
- Will Shields, G — 1993-2006 (Chiefs)
- Michael Strahan, DE — 1993-2007 (Giants)
- Paul Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner — 1989-2006
- Aeneas Williams, CB/S — 1991-2004 (Cardinals, Rams)
- Steve Wisniewski, G — 1989-2001 (LA/OAK Raiders)
- George Young, contributor — 1968-2001 (BAL Colts, Dolphins, Giants, NFL)