One of the best players in team history, and perhaps the best to ever play the left tackle position, Seattle Seahawks Walter Jones appears to be calling it a career.
Jones announced via Twitter that he was retiring after an impressive 12-year stint in the NFL that included nine trips to the Pro Bowl.
“I have came to the concussion (sic) it is time for me to retire from football,” Jones tweeted just hours before the start of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Jones then followed up a little later to correct himself, saying he meant “conclusion” instead of “concussion.”
However, neither the team nor Jones’ agent, Roosevelt Barnes, could confirm the 36-year-old’s retirement plans.
Jones has been down this road before. During the season, Jones implied several times through his Twitter account that he might be contemplating retirement.
However, after spending the season on the injured reserve list, then training in Florida to recover from microfracture knee surgery that he underwent a year ago, Jones indicated at the end of the season that he was hopeful he could return to the field this year. Jones has missed the Seahawks’ past 20 games.
Jones’ timing on the announcement does make some sense, after Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made it a point to address the issue of whether Jones will return during a radio interview last week on KJR-AM radio.
“One of the big issues is Walter Jones, and his ability to return or not return,” said Carroll, when asked about things his team needed to do to get better in 2010. “He has been a great player in this organization for years. And not having him available last year made a difference. And right now we don’t know how he’s going to be able to recuperate, with his injury and all.
“I talked to Walter, and he’s doing everything he can, and we’ll see in time where he stands. But that’s an issue. And there’s a little bit of a ripple effect, moving guys around to fill that left tackle spot. It’s a skill position in the NFL, and one that’s really critical. So we have to see what we can do there.”
Money also will play a role in whether the Seahawks want to bring back Jones this season. He’s due $7.3 million in 2010, and Carroll needs to determine if Jones can come back and play at a high level again at left tackle, or if the team needs to continue experimenting with Sean Locklear at that position or draft someone to groom as the left tackle of the future.
Locklear was due to make $4.85 million in 2010 but could make more because of an escalator clause in his contract that would pay him more if he played a significant amount at left tackle during the 2009 season.
WALTER JONES FILE
• No. 6 overall pick in 1997 NFL Draft.
• NFL all-rookie pick in 1997.
• Nine-time Pro Bowl selection (1999, 2001-08).
• Six-time all-NFC selection (2001-05, 2007)
• Four-time first-team All-Pro (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007).
• Three-time second-team All-Pro (2002, 2006, 2008).
• Selected to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s.
• Started all 180 games he played for the Seahawks, but missed the past 20 because of injury.
Read the latest on the Seahawks from staff writers Eric D. Williams and Ryan Divish at: