SEATTLE, Wash. – A magical year of celebrations for Chesapeake native Kenny Easley continues this weekend.
The Seattle Seahawks will retire his number 45 jersey at halftime of the team’s game vs. Indianapolis. Earlier this year, Easley, an Oscar Smith High School alumnus, was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I expected it to happen, but I’m very happy about that,” Easley told Seahawks.com. “Over the years, I’ve seen the number 45 out there a few times, though not that much. I’m glad that that’s going to take place and I can be a part of that ceremony on October 1. I’m looking forward to it.”
Easley’s number 45 will be the fifth retired by the Seahawks. Steve Largent (80), Walter Jones (71) and Cortez Kennedy (96) are also members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The number 12, for Seattle fans (the 12th man), is also retired.
Although he played in just 89 games over the course of only seven seasons, Easley is regarded by many as one of the best defensive backs in football history. The Chesapeake native was voted to the Pro Bowl five of his seven seasons. Last year, Easley was selected as the lone Senior Finalist for this year’s Hall of Fame election class nearly 30 years after playing his final game.
Easley, who always wore No. 5 playing multiple sports before reaching the NFL, where number choices are limited by positions, realized in that dream that his number would be the fifth retired by the franchise after Largent, Jones, Kennedy and 12 for the fans.