JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A big honor for Walter Jones could kick off what could be the biggest football weekend in Seahawks history.
Jones, who played left tackle for the Seahawks from 1997 to 2009, will learn Saturday whether he has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot.
Jones is one of 15 modern players who are finalists. The 46-member Hall of Fame selection committee will elect no more than five into the Hall of Fame. Election requires 80 percent approval. The announcement will be made Saturday night during the third annual NFL Honors show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The show will be televised (at 8 p.m. Pacific time, tape-delayed on Channel 13), a night before the Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in nearby East Rutherford, N.J.
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An NFL.com story Friday declared Jones as one of two “locks’’ to be elected, along with linebacker Derrick Brooks of Tampa Bay.
If so, Jones would become just the second player to spend his entire career with the Seahawks to be elected in his first year of eligibility. Wide receiver Steve Largent was elected in 1995. The only other player in the Hall of Fame who was a Seahawk his entire career is defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who was elected on his fourth try in 2012.
Five other players who played no more than three years with the Seahawks also are in the Hall of Fame — defensive tackle John Randle, quarterback Warren Moon, receiver Jerry Rice, defensive end Carl Eller and running back Franco Harris. Mike McCormack, a coach and general manager with the Seahawks, also is in the Hall for his playing career.
Jones started 180 games for the Seahawks, which ranks second in team history behind the 197 of Largent, and was named to the Pro Bowl nine times, the most in team history. Jones was a six-time All-Pro by The Associated Press and helped lead the team to its first Super Bowl after the 2005 season.
Earlier this month, Jones said it would be “very important’’ for him to be elected in his first year.
“Any time you can get that title of first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, that’s a great title and just being a Hall-of-Famer is a great title,’’ he said. “Would it be a letdown (to not get in this year)? Probably. But I think it’s still a moment that will be exciting whenever it happens.
“For me to be on that list is amazing and to be on that list and been able to play with one team is amazing, too. I’m excited to be a product of the Seattle Seahawks and have my whole career here in Seattle.’’
The other modern finalists are: kicker Morten Andersen, running back Jerome Bettis, receiver Tim Brown, owner Eddie Debartolo Jr., coach Tony Dungy, linebacker/defensive end Kevin Greene, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, receiver Marvin Harrison, safety John Lynch, receiver Andre Reed, guard Will Shields, defensive end Michael Strahan and cornerback/safety Aeneas Williams.
Also on the ballot are two seniors candidates — punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.