Former Seahawks tackle Walter Jones, as expected, was named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Thursday evening.
Jones, the No. 6 pick in the 1997 draft, spent his entire 12-year career in Seattle that included nine Pro Bowl selections and six first-team All-Pro nods. Jones was a key piece of the 2005 Seahawks team that went 13-3 and became the only team in franchise history to reach the Super Bowl.
Jones and his line mates opened holes for Shaun Alexander to rush for 1,880 yards and 28 touchdowns that season, earning MVP honors for the running back. Jones, who was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2000s, is one of four first-year eligible nominees to be named a finalist along with Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison.
Jones talked to reporters Thursday before the finalists were announced, and when asked if he would be disappointed not to make the Hall of Fame on his first try, he answered, “Definitely. I think any time you can get that title… First-ballot Hall of Fame? That’s a great title. I think just being in the Hall of Fame would be a great title. Would it be a letdown? Probably, but I think it’s still a moment that is going to be excited whenever it happens. If it happens this year, it’s going to be exciting. If it happens two years from now, it’s going to be exciting. For me to be on that list is amazing. To be on that list and to be able to play with one team is exciting, too. I’m excited to be a product of the Seattle Seahawks and to have my whole career here in Seattle.”
This year’s Hall of Fame class will be announced on Feb. 1 when the committee meets for a final vote in New York the day before the Super Bowl. Here’s the full list of finalists:
• Morten Andersen, Kicker – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
• Jerome Bettis, Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
• Derrick Brooks, Linebacker – 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Tim Brown, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/ Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
• Tony Dungy, Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts
• Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
• *Ray Guy, Punter – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
• Charles Haley, Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
• Marvin Harrison, Wide Receiver – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
• *Claude Humphrey, Defensive End – 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles
• Walter Jones, Tackle – 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks
• John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
• Andre Reed, Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
• Will Shields, Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
• Michael Strahan, Defensive End – 1993-2007 New York Giants
• Aeneas Williams, Cornerback/Safety – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams