RENTON — There’s just one step left now between Walter Jones and football immortality.
But he admits it’s one that has him a little anxious.
Jones, a nine-time Pro Bowl pick as a Seahawks left tackle from 1997-2008, was selected Thursday night as one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.
The 46-member Hall of Fame selection committee will pick four to seven of the finalists to be the newest members of the hall when it meets on Feb. 1, the day before the Super Bowl.
Jones, who started all 180 games he played for the Seahawks, has been considered one of the favorites to be elected in his first year on the ballot.
On Thursday morning, as he visited the Seahawks’ training complex, Jones said he has been watching the process closely.
“It’s very important ,” he said. “I’m on Twitter, so I see all the stuff that’s being said. I read all the clippings. You understand what is going on, and you get nervous every time you see something. So you try to stay humble.”
Jones said being elected in his first year was also something he was hoping to achieve.
“Oh, definitely,” he said. “I think any time you can get that title of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer, that’s a great title. Just being a Hall of Famer is a great title. Would it be a letdown (if he didn’t make it this year)? Probably will. But it’s still a moment that is going to be exciting whenever it happens. If it happens this year, it’s going to be exciting. If it happens two years from now, it’s going to be exciting.”
Jones was the only finalist with ties to the Seahawks.
The other finalists include Morten Andersen, Jerome Bettis, Derrick Brooks, Tim Brown, Edward DeBartolo Jr., Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison, John Lynch, Andre Reed, Will Shields, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.