Kenny Easley’s feud with Seahawks ended with Ring of Honor induction

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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.

16 responses to “Kenny Easley’s feud with Seahawks ended with Ring of Honor induction

  1. Glad he came back into the fold. He was outstanding.

    And by the way, Steve Largent did not spend his entire career with the Seahawks. He was drafted by the Houston Oilers and played 4 preseason games with them before coming to the ‘Hawks. He spent his entire regular season career with the ‘Hawks.

  2. As a lifelong Raider fan let me say that Kenny Easley was and absolute heat seeking missle.

    Loved watching him play, except against the Raiders when the Hawks were in the AFC west.

    Dude was a straight baller!!!!!!!

    Well deserved and long overdue!!!!!

  3. Those early to mid 80s Seahawks teams had some really good players. Easley was a stud, and who knows how great Curt Warner would have been if he hadn’t shredded his knee

  4. The absolute MAN. Imagine the ball-hawking skill (but better) of a young Earl Thomas combined with the height (a taller 6-4″) and devastating hitting power of young Kam Chancellor, kids! That’s who this MAN was during his time in a Seahawk uniform. My all-time favorite Seahawk! No one deserves the Hall any more than this warrior. Salute!!!

  5. youcantmakemepickausername says:
    Jul 12, 2017 7:00 PM

    Those early to mid 80s Seahawks teams had some really good players. Easley was a stud, and who knows how great Curt Warner would have been if he hadn’t shredded his knee

    ————

    You’re right about Curt Warner, former RB who also had a good college career at Penn State. But I’d bet most members on this site are young and only know about QB Kurt Warner. The crazy thing is he blew his knee out trying to make a non-contact cut during a game. Tony Dorset also blew out his knee in the same way. Thank God artificial turf is MUCH better today!

  6. He was a one of the greatest safeties in his prime in a relatively short career. For the longest time I heard he retired because of a kidney injury and thought he had died because of it.

    I am happy the NFL and the Seahawks are finally giving him the recognition he deserves in helping create a winning franchis history in Seattle.

  7. I wear my authentic original 1984 Easley #45 to every game, every Blue Friday, to 3 SuperBowls, to every home game, road game and playoff game.

    Ronnie Lott said Kenny Easley was the best safety to ever play the game and he was right. Dude CRUSHED fools on the regular, and still got as many picks as the best CBs today. He could rush the QB from the outside (and picked up sacks regularly), could stop any rusher on his side (and did), and god forgive you if you were foolish enough to throw deep to his side because it was coming back for 6.

    I met Easley about a decade ago by pure coincidence (he was standing outside a restaurant). I felt terrible because I literally just stopped and stared at him for what seemed like forever while my girlfriend tugged at my hand to move on. He stuck his hand out, smiled at me, took a picture with me, and was pretty much the coolest guy ever. He seemed amused that I recognized him and was standing there like a dumbstruck fanboy idiot.

    One of the greatest Seahawks ever. A god in the Pac NW. The 12s will always LOVE Easley.

  8. A HOF’r definition is ‘ Is the game different without this player?’.

    Yes. Easley was amazing at UCLA and in Seattle.

    Kudos to Allen for knowing and respecting Seahawk history.

    Giants fan…but a fan of the game more…

  9. Great thing Paul Allen rescued the Seahawks from Ken Behring. He respectfully brought Kenny Easley back, built the most consistently successful teams we have ever had and rescued the team from moving to California after Behring had already moved the teams headquarters to Anaheim. Imagine that we could’ve been watching the LA Seahawks vs the Seattle Rams!

  10. In the 1981 draft, Kenny Easley went #4 and Ronnie Lott went #8.

    They both played for PAC-10 SoCal teams in college, and then for west coast NFL teams, and early on their careers were linked. Easley won the rookie award over Lott, but after that, Lott was generally considered the better player.

    The problem for Easley is the constant comparison to Lott. If it were not for that coincidence of their constant comparison, then Easley would probably be in the HOF by now.

  11. Kenny hit so hard that even Seahawks’ fans worried about the other team’s receivers. I don’t know if the physical price he paid was worth it, but he was a joy to watch.

  12. Greatest defensive back in team history, bar none. And stating this, while cognizant of the future HOF’ers in our current defensive backfield.

  13. It’s unfortunate that my previous comment was deleted. Why are you folks scared of the truth? This can easily be confirmed by his family.

    The reason that Easley didn’t talk to the Seahawks management for all those years is that the Seahawk doctors melted Easley’s kidneys by giving him 3600+mg of Ibuprofen 4 or 5 times a day (month after month) to keep him playing and he ended up on dialysis (and suffered other related ailments) for the remainder of his life.

    Easley was represented by the firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender and the lawsuit against the Seahawks was filed in King County Superior Court. It is public record, it is not a sealed settlement.

    Easley had good reason to not talk to anyone in the Seahawk organization until all those responsible were gone; from management to team doctors. Paul Allen and his organization were able to bust that blockade to everyone’s benefit.

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