Kenny Easley had a bitter divorce from the Seahawks and the NFL. He left in 1987 and didn’t speak to anyone in the organization again until 2002 when the Seahawks called with a desire to induct him into their Ring of Honor.
It was the beginning of a new relationship between Easley and the Seahawks.
“I would say it was probably two pronged: First, the team had a new owner in Paul Allen and second my children were coming of age where they had never seen me play football,” Easley said Wednesday in a conference call for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “They didn’t know much about my career, and I didn’t have any pictures around the house of my athletic career and so when I got the call from [then Seahawks public relations director] Gary Wright saying that Paul Allen had indicated to him that they couldn’t put another player in the Ring of Honor before putting Kenny Easley in there and if Gary Wright would make a call to me and basically test the waters. I hadn’t spoken to anybody in the organization in 15 years. So Gary called me and told me what Paul had said and so thinking about my children and the fact that they had never seen me play and it had been 15 years it was the proper time to do it. I’m glad my children got an opportunity to be a part of it and learn about their father and what he had done and how successful he had done it. And the fact that it was new people running the organization and running it very well.”
Easley becomes the fourth Hall of Famer to spend his entire career with the Seahawks, joining receiver Steve Largent, defensive lineman Cortez Kennedy and left tackle Walter Jones.
Despite being the 1984 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Easley was never even discussed by a Hall of Fame selection committee as a modern-era candidate during the 25 years he was eligible. But as the seniors candidate for the Class of 2017, Easley received 80 percent approval from the full body of selectors.