- Terry Blount, ESPN Staff Writer
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The countdown continues on my list of the top 10 Seattle Seahawks in franchise history. Current players on the Super Bowl winning team were not eligible. One other requirement is the man had to play at least five seasons for the Seahawks.
No. 2: Wide receiver Steve Largent.
Years in Seattle: 1976-89.
Acquired: After being drafted in the fourth-round as a rookie, he was traded to the Seahawks by the Houston Oilers in 1976 for an eighth-round draft choice in 1977.
Accomplishments: The first Seahawks player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995 ... Team leader in receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089), most touchdowns (100) most receiving yards in a season (1,287 in 1985) and 10 other team records. ... The inaugural inductee into the Seahawks Ring of Honor in 1989 ... Selected for seven Pro Bowls ... His 197 starts are the most in team history.
The late Bum Phillips is revered in Houston as the most popular coach in Oilers history. He always told it like it, including the one decision that haunted him for years: cutting Largent.
“Honestly, I wanted to keep him,” Phillips said years later of Largent, who became a good friend. “Some of our coaches didn’t, but I really messed up on letting him get away.’’
Officially, Largent was traded to the new Seahawks franchise for an eighth-round draft choice, but the Oilers already had sent him back home to Oklahoma.
Largent thought his NFL career was over before it started. Two days later, he found out he was traded to Seattle. You know the rest of the story. Largent would go on to become one of the best receivers in NFL history.
Largent led the Seahawks in receptions and yards in the first 12 years of the franchise. He had eight 1,000-yard seasons and 10 years of at least 50 catches.
Like some of the current stars of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, Largent was undervalued at first. He proved all the doubters wrong.
By the way, the player the Oilers selected with that eight-round pick for Largent was Georgia wide receiver Steve Davis, who never played a down in the NFL.