In the early days of this blog, I did a "Greatest Seahawk Ever" series, where readers could vote on a 64-player seeded bracket series of one-on-one battles to determine the best player in franchise history. Steve Largent won the popular vote over Jones in the final, but I made an impassioned argument for Big Walt:
In my opinion, the BEST PLAYER IN SEAHAWKS HISTORY is Walter Jones. The P-I had a really good piece about why Big Walt should be Canton-bound recently... Here's a taste:
Following the Seahawks' Super Bowl run in 2005, one NFC scout called Jones "not just the most dominating player at his position, but the most dominating player at any position in the NFL."
As much as we all love Steve Largent, he was never a DOMINANT player, and he was probably never the best player in the NFL at his position. Walter Jones is the indispensable man: He is the one player MOST responsible for the Seahawks golden age from 2003-2007. Without him, Matt Hasselbeck isn't an all-pro. Without him, Shaun Alexander would not have had his great run of success in Seattle. Without his off-season commitment to pushing goddamn Escalades around, he wouldn't have maintained his spectacular level of play over more than a decade.
If Walter Jones is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Twelve Army should march on NFL headquarters with pitchforks and torches. When ESPN ranked the best players of the decade, Jones came in 4th behind only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and LaDanian Tomlinson, and is widely recognized as the elite player at possibly the most valuable position on the field in the modern NFL.
I'll be there in Canton, Big Walt. I'll bring my kids, and I will tell them "There's the greatest Seahawk who ever lived."
Godspeed, Walter Jones.