Seattle Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones didn’t make the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Then again, he faced the stiffest competition imaginable, as on the ballot with him was Baltimore Ravens legendary left tackle Jonathan Ogden. It is nearly unanimous that Ogden is the best left tackle in NFL history, as he was so big (6-foot-10, 330 pounds) and was extremely light on his feet.
Jones, in his 12 years in the NFL, played and started in 180 regular season games and was one of the main reasons why the Seahawks made their first Super Bowl appearance in 2004. He is a seven-time All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. If Ogden wasn’t on the ballot this year, Jones would have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer without question. He was taken sixth overall in the 1997 NFL Draft by the Seahawks and never looked back. He plowed open holes for so many different running backs, including Ricky Watters and Shaun Alexander, and they had multiple 1,000-yard seasons each. Even Hall-of-Fame head coach John Madden, in 2004, called Jones the best player in football on a broadcast, which is extremely high praise to say the least.
On Dec. 5, 2010, the Seahawks retired his No. 71 jersey, thus becoming only the second player to have his jersey retired in franchise history, with Steve Largentbeing the other one.
All in all, this time next year, Jones — and Seahawks fans — will get to see his bust enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.