Ever since the mysterious typo-laced tweet from Walter Jones on Super Bowl Sunday, the media and fans alike have had no idea how to respond.
Is Big Walt seriously going to hang them up in 2010? That's the question we're now pondering and speculating over, but ever since that tweet, that's all we've been able to do: ponder and speculate. Jones has not commented on the possible retirement issue ever since, and Danny O'Neil says Jones's agent hasn't returned any phone calls from the Seattle Times.
Nothing in the past 10 days has offered any clarification on Jones' status. Not Jones, who made no further posts. Not his agent, who has not return repeated messages from The Seattle Times. Not the team. New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates answered questions last week, but when asked about Jones, he offered only compliments about Jones' accomplishments but didn't address the future of either Jones or the left-tackle position.
Obviously, with the possibility of the salary cap going away after another two weeks, it's a good idea for Jones to stay mum on the subject. The entire tweet was probably a questionable move at best in the first place, but such is the new standard with professional athletes and Twitter. The uncensored, unchecked and (in Walt's case especially) unedited nature of Twitter can lead to all kinds of upheavel in the life of a professional athlete, and I'm not just talking about OchoCinco. (Child, please.) Walter Jones hadn't exactly been a cornerstone of Twitter controversy like the "embattled" Bengals receiver, but I still think Big Walt would've been much better suited to wait for an official announcement. And that announcement would've been much better suited to have come after Super Bowl Sunday, the Combine and the future of the NFL salary cap.
But what's done is done, and #71 has left us all wondering what comes next. He's due a salary of $7.3 million next season, but the Seahawks don't have to pay him that total unless he's on the roster at the start of the season, as O'Neil also points out. That's a nice chunk of change, but again, it largely depends on what happens with the NFL in another couple of weeks.
I could come full-circle and futther exhaust the subject of the Seahawks' glaring and unignorable needs at left tackle, regardless of the small possibility that Jones could even return next year. But those needs are obvious and discussed thoroughly by now, so I pose this simple question to readers:
Is Walter Jones truly finished, or does he have enough left in the tank for another year with a new regime in Seattle?