The retirement of Seattle Seahawksoffensive tackle Walter Jones appears imminent.
Coach Pete Carroll said Thursday night after the Seahawks tookoffensive tackle Russell Okung with the No. 6 pick in the NFL draftthat an announcement about Jones was pending.
"We've talked to Walter and we'll be making an announcement(next) Thursday about that," Carroll said.
Jones, a six-time All-Pro, hasn't played since Thanksgiving Day2008 and has undergone two major knee surgeries since. He's beenrehabilitating and said after the 2009 season that he hoped for onemore run with the only franchise he's ever played for.
But the tone from the Seahawks staff on Thursday indicated Joneshas decided to step away. Offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, speakingabout Okung, said the Oklahoma State star will be thrown in as theSeahawks starting left tackle immediately.
"He's going to fit good and he's going to be Walter (Jones')replacement, obviously. That's why he was picked," Gibbs said.
Jones has spent all 13 of his NFL seasons with Seattle afterbeing the No. 6 pick in the 1997 draft. The nine-time Pro Bowlerwas the anchor to Seattle's offensive line for more than a decade.
Jones tried to return for training camp last summer, made itthrough a couple of practices, then had arthroscopic surgery on theknee in August. He later went on the injured reserve list. His painhas been exacerbated by a kidney condition diagnosed when he was arookie that keeps him from taking anti-inflammatories to combatswelling and pain.
He said after the season ended that his knee felt good followingmonths of rehabilitation in Florida but acknowledged his knee stillhad a way to go to get back to playing shape.
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