The Seattle Seahawks haven't established the volume of marquis players the fans would like, but the franchise isn't completely bereft of stars. Steve Largent was the first Seahawk to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Cortez Kennedy will follow him later this summer.
Walter Jones won't be far behind.
There are other former Seahawks in the Hall of Fame, and some might not be there if not for the contributions they made while playing for Seattle. But it is difficult to consider John Randle or even Warren Moon a Seahawk for Hall of Fame purposes.
Discussions following an article on the greatest undrafted Seahawks led into an intriguing subject. What contributions should make a player worthy of the Seahawks' Ring of Honor, and how much more is required to have a jersey retired?
There has been speculation on whether Kennedy will be honored with a jersey retirement now that he is entering the Hall of Fame. He joined seven players, one coach and "the" announcer in the Ring of Honor in 2006 (listed below).
Others made the argument that Mack Strong was worthy of both honors.
As if by cue, a Facebook discussion on Kellen Winslow wearing Darrell Jackson's old number left an enthusiastic fan upset. He felt No. 82 should be retired.
Clearly, different fans have different thresholds on honoring players.
The question for today...are there any other numbers that should be hanging alongside 12, 71 and 80, and what additional names should be placed on the CenturyLink Field facade?
It is safe to say that 82 won't be hung in the near future. Doing so would also require, at a minimum, No. 89 being honored for Brian Blades.
At that rate the Seahawks would soon be out of jerseys for their receivers.
But what about Cortez Kennedy? Can Mack Strong enter the discussion, too?
While this may not be a popular stance with some fans, I would say neither is worthy of a retired number.
The threshold players must cross to have a jersey retired should go beyond making it into the Hall of Fame. They should be truly elite...the kind of player for whom there is no doubt that Canton will roll out the red carpet immediately after their five-year wait.
Largent was such a player, as was Jones. A player like Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor could develop into that level of talent.
No other former Seahawks have reached that level of performance, though.
Some will argue Kennedy's jersey should be retired since he made the Hall of Fame. While I won't argue that point, I do believe a team should place a higher standard on the ultimate level of player recognition.
The Seahawks pay tribute to the other stars with the Ring of Honor, which is the equivalent of the team's Hall of Fame. This is a fitting tribute to players who have enriched the franchise and excelled on the field of play.
Mack Strong will be an interesting decision for the Seahawks front office. Fullback is a difficult position to weigh.
The best fullback to proceed Strong would be John L. Williams, who hasn't been inducted into the Ring of Honor. Both players were elected to two Pro Bowls.
Stong's longevity (15 seasons) with Seattle could push him over the edge for the Ring of Honor, but he is a long shot to have his jersey retired.
I would assert that Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander will eventually be added...possibly in a joint ceremony to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of winning the NFC Championship Game.
Mike Holmgren could make it a trio, but he may have to wait a bit longer. He will likely still be working for an NFL franchise in three years.
Weigh in, football fans. What threshold would you set for each honor? What names do or don't belong hanging from the rafters of CenturyLink Field?
Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor
Dave Brown, CB, 1992 (1976-1986)
Kenny Easley, S, 2002 (1981-1987)
Jacob Green, DE, 1995 (1980-1991)
Pete Gross, Announcer, 1992 (1976-1992)
Cortez Kennedy, DT, 2006 (1990-2000)
Chuck Knox, Coach, 2005 (1983-1991)
Dave Krieg, QB, 2004 (1980-1991)
Steve Largent, WR, 1989 (1976-1989)
Curt Warner, RB (1983-1989)
Jim Zorn, QB, 2001 (1976-1984)
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