Nine individuals with connections to the state of Washington, including three for the first time, have been nominated for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Nine individuals with connections to the state of Washington, including three who are eligible for the first time, are among 126 nominees for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The most likely candidate for enshrinement is former Seahawks tackle Walter Jones, a nine-time Pro Bowl tackle who retired in 2008.
From the list of 126, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinal nominees. That list will be announced in late November and will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January.
The Class of 2014 will be selected from the list of the 15 plus the two senior nominees (former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders punter Ray Guy and former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey) who were chosen last month by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee.
Voting for the Class of 2014 will be conducted Feb. 1, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII in New York. The election results will be announced that evening.
In addition to Jones, the other first-time eligibles with local ties are former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander and former head coach Mike Holmgren, who guided the club to its only Super Bowl appearance following the 2005 season.
Holdovers from previous ballots include coaches Don Coryell, Tom Flores and Chuck Knox, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, wide receiver-kick returner Eric Metcalf and running back Ricky Watters. Listed alphabetically:
SHAUN ALEXANDER (Running Back): Played for the Seahawks from 2000-07 and for part of 2008 with the Washington Redskins. Alexander is Seattle’s all-time touchdown leader (112) and rushed for 9,453 yards during a nine-year career. He won the 2005 Most Valuable Player award after running for a league-high 1,880 yards and then-NFL record 28 touchdowns. Running backs with 100+ touchdowns are almost automatic inductees, but Alexander is not considered a strong candidate because his peak wasn’t long enough.
DREW BLEDSOE (Quarterback): After starring at Washington State (1990-92), Bledsoe had a 14-year career with the New England Patriots (1993-01), Buffalo Bills (2002-04) and Dallas Cowboys (2005-06). The No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft, Bledsoe played in 194 career games, completed 3,839 of 6,717 pass attempts for 44,611 yards and 251 touchdowns. Bledsoe made four Pro Bowls and was named second-team All-AFC twice.
DON CORYELL (Coach): The Seattle native (Lincoln High School, University of Washington) coached the St. Louis Cardinals from 1973-77 and the San Diego Chargers from 1978-86. He revolutionized the modern passing game and led the NFL into an era of explosive offensive football. His teams went 114-89-1 and won six division championships. Named 1974 Coach of the Year, Coryell has always fallen short of entering the Hall of Fame because he never won a Super Bowl.
TOM FLORES (Coach): Flores won two Super Bowls coaching the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1979-87 (one of 13 coaches to win two or more Super Bowls), but his tenure as president and coach of the Seahawks, when he worked under owner Ken Behring from 1992-94, was dismal. The 1992 Seahawks finished 2-14 and scored a league-low 140 points.
MIKE HOLMGREN (Coach): Holmgren coached the Green Bay Packers from 1992-98 and the Seahawks from 1999-08, leading his teams to a 174-122 record, eight division titles, three conference championships and one Super Bowl victory. Holmgren is considered a strong candidate to make the Hall of Fame, although perhaps not this year with Tony Dungy on the ballot.
WALTER JONES (Tackle): A nine-time Pro Bowl choice during his career (1997-08) with the Seahawks, Jones made six All-Pro teams during his 12 seasons. He played in 180 games while helping the Seahawks to five division titles and one conference championship. The greatest offensive lineman of his era, Jones is widely viewed as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
CHUCK KNOX (Coach): A three-time Coach of the Year and a four-time conference Coach of the Year, Knox guided the Los Angeles Rams from 1973-77 and again from 1992-94, the Buffalo Bills from 1978-1982 and the Seahawks from 1983-91. His 1984 Seahawks team was his best, finishing 12-4 and reaching the AFC Championship game. Knox’s teams went 193-158-1 and won seven division titles.
ERIC METCALF (Wide Receiver/Kick Returner): The Seattle native, who attended the University of Texas, played for the Cleveland Browns (1989-94), Atlanta Falcons (1995-96), San Diego Chargers (1997), Arizona Cardinals (1998), Carolina Panthers (1999), Washington Redskins (2001) and Green Bay Packers (2002). He accumulated more than 17,000 all-purpose yards during his 13-season NFL career. He twice made All-Pro and was voted to three Pro Bowls as kick returner. At various points in his career, Metcalf led the league in kickoff return yardage, punt return yardage and punt return average.
RICKY WATTERS (Running Back): During his career with San Francisco (1992-94), Philadelphia (1995-97) and Seattle (1998-01), Watters played on four divisional title teams and one Super Bowl winner. He rushed for 10,643 yards, topping the 1,000-yard mark seven times. A five-time Pro Bowl pick, Watters produced three of his 1,000-yard seasons for the Seahawks.
The complete list of modern-era candidates for the Class of 2014 can be found on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website.
Hall of Famers With Washington Connections
Ten individuals with ties to the state have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mel Hein, who starred at Washington State, was a member of the inaugural Canton class in 1963.
|1963||Mel Hein||C||WSU||Selected the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1938 — as a center|
|1969||Glen Edwards||OT||WSU||Selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1930s|
|1970||Hugh McElhenny||RB||UW||The six-time Pro Bowl star also enshrined in College Hall of Fame|
|1974||Tony Canadeo||QB/RB||Gonzaga||“Gray Ghost” made the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1940s|
|1976||Ray Flaherty||Coach||Gonzaga||Posted an 80-37-5 record as an NFL head coach|
|1981||Red Badgro||DE/WR||USC||Orillia native elected to the Hall at 78 (oldest-ever inductee)|
|1984||Arnie Weinmeister||DL||UW||Played for New York Yankees (1948-49), New York Giants (1950-53)|
|1995||Steve Largent||WR||Tulsa||Seahawks’ first superstar inducted in first year of eligibility|
|2006||Warren Moon||QB||UW||Made 9 Pro Bowls during tenures with Oilers, Vikings and Seahawks|
|2012||Cortez Kennedy||DT||Miami||Eight-time Pro Bowl choice with Seahawks; All-Decade Team, ’90s|