Seattle coach Dennis Erickson and his staff also wanted the 6'5", 301-pound Jones, a junior who played two years at Holmes (Miss.) Community College and only 12 games at the major college level. Jones was projected as a low first-round pick until he ran the 40 in 4.6 seconds for NFL scouts last month, causing his stock to soar. Nonetheless, on the eve of the draft, Seahawks vice president of football operations Randy Mueller sold Behring and Bob Whitsitt, Allen's go-between in the Seattle front office, on the idea of trying to jockey into position to select Jones. Then Whitsitt called Allen.
Aware that anti-Seahawks sentiment at the state capital was running high, Whitsitt warned his boss. "You could be out of this in three days. Dennis and Randy think they can move up and get this great tackle, but it could really push your costs up. If they get Springs and this tackle, it could cost $13 million in signing bonuses alone."
"What did we say when we got into this?" Allen replied. "If we're involved, we're involved. Are we still involved?"
"Yeah," Whitsitt said.
"Then we have to do it," Allen said.
By John Morgan