Seahawks offensive lineman Walter Jones retires


by Seattle Seahawks

Posted on April 29, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 30 at 6:53 PM

RENTON, WA. -- Seattle Seahawks tackle Walter Jones has retired from the NFL, the team announced today. In his honor, the team will immediately retire his number 71 jersey and Governor Christine Gregoire has declared April 30 Walter Jones Day, urging all citizens to join her in saluting his remarkable career.

Since coming to Seattle as a first-round pick in 1997, Jones started all 180 games played while becoming the most dominant left tackle of his time. In 13 seasons, he was called for holding nine times and in 5,703 pass attempts, surrendered just 23 sacks according to coaches statistics. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls (1999, 2001-08), passing Cortez Kennedy for most in team history, and was also a six-time AP All-Pro (1st Team in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2nd Team in 2006 and 2008).

Seattle selected Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, which was acquired in a draft-day trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for Seattle's first-round pick (#12, RB Warrick Dunn) and third-round pick (#66, CB Ronde Barber). He was named to his first Pro Bowl following the 1999 season, becoming the first Seattle offensive lineman to accomplish that feat.

Jones was part of the offensive line that helped Shaun Alexander to the fourth-best (currently seventh) rushing game in NFL history with 266 yards vs. Oakland (11/11/01) and helped Alexander to an NFL-record five first-half touchdowns vs. Minnesota (9/29/02). In 2005, he paved the way for Alexander's MVP year with a Seattle-record 1,880 rushing yards and then NFL-record 28 total touchdowns.

A second-team All-ACC selection as a junior, he transferred to Florida State after two seasons at Holmes (Miss.) Community College, where he was named Mississippi Junior College Player of the Year in 1994. Jones prepped at Aliceville (Ala.) High where he lettered in basketball and football. Jones and his wife, Valeria, have fraternal twins, Walterius and Waleria, and one stepson, Rafael.

All-Time Seattle Games Played

Player                            Years               No.

1.  Joe Nash                 1982-96         218                 
2.  Mack Strong            1993-07         201                 
3.  Steve Largent         1976-89         200                 
4.  Walter Jones          1997-09         180                 
5.  Jacob Green           1980-91         178                 

All-Time Seattle Games Started

Player                           Years                No.

1.  Steve Largent        1976-89          197
2.  Walter Jones         1997-09          180
3.  Jacob Green          1980-91          176
4.  Joe Nash               1982-96          169
5.  Jeff Bryant              1982-93          167