The Seattle Seahawks don't have the same history as many top NFL teams because they did not officially start playing until 1976. However, the team enjoyed some success in the 1980s and 1990s and really saw their fortunes improve starting in 2003. Since then, the Seahawks have been one of the better teams in the NFL and their collecting appeal has increased dramatically. Although the team came up short in their quest for a second straight Super Bowl title, interest remains strong and we take a look at the top Seattle Seahawks rookie cards of all-time.
In most cases, team collecting options can easily be split between vintage and modern. Because the Seahawks started in 1976, there are very few vintage options, and all the top players are included in one list. The list was capped at the top 20 to keep things manageable. The actual ranking is based largely on overall relevance of the player but collecting interest was taken into account as well. Because there are several modern players on the list, the overall ranking will be in flux for some time as their careers progress.
Top Seattle Seahawks Rookie Cards
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A key part of the current defense, Kam Chancellor is one of the top defensive backs in the NFL despite only having a few seasons under his belt. With three Pro Bowl selections in his first four seasons, Chancellor could see a nice jump on the list depending on how the rest of his career plays out. Although he was drafted in 2010, the first card for Kam Chancellor was not released until 2012. The simple 2012 Topps card is his only true rookie option for collectors.
Jim Zorn very the first starting quarterback for the Seahawks' franchise and developed a good rapport with Steve Largent during his seven years as the top QB. While the Hawks never reached the playoffs under Zorn, he is remembered fondly by the fan base. His rookie card is found in 1977 Topps, which is also the same product to find Largent's rookie card.
The team record-holder in career interceptions, Dave Brown roamed the Seattle secondary for over a decade, earning one Pro Bowl selection. Brown passed away in 2006. Collectors can find his inexpensive rookie in 1980 Topps.
Noted for his long tenure with the team, Joe Nash played all 15 NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. The undrafted free agent lined up at nose tackle and defensive tackle and earned one Pro Bowl trip. Joe Nash's 1985 Topps rookie can be found for cheap.
Although he left the team in the middle of his prime, Steve Hutchinson was still a top guard for the Seahawks over several seasons. A three-time Pro Bowl selection with Seattle, there are six Steve Hutchinson rookie card options, but the die-cut card from 2001 Crown Royale is the most popular.
Even though his time with the Seahawks was relatively short, Fredd Young made the most of his four seasons at linebacker. His career in Seattle came to an abrupt end when the four-time Pro Bowl selection was traded in 1988. His rookie is found in 1985 Topps, a set known for its delicate black borders.
Chris Warren enjoyed a good career in Seattle as a returner and running back. Warren totaled four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and three straight Pro Bowl selections. He retired as the team leader in career rushing yards, but was later overtaken by Shaun Alexander. The rounded gold foil of his 1990 Action Packed rookie card is a familiar sight to collectors during the early 1990s.
The first round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 1983, Curt Warner also produced four seasons with 1,000+ yards and three Pro Bowl trips. Warner's rookie in 1984 Topps is heavy on the Seahawks' colors and one of the most vibrant designs on the list.
A prolific sacker for Seattle during the 1980s, Jacob Green was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and finished with 9 or more sacks in seven different seasons. His 1983 Topps rookie card is another colorful option for collectors of the Seahawks.
Dave Krieg replaced Jim Zorn at quarterback in 1984 and promptly led the Seahawks to their first playoff appearance where they eventually lost in the AFC Championship. Krieg would take Seattle to the playoffs three more times and added three Pro Bowl selections during his career. Seattle Seahawks rookie collectors can find the first Dave Krieg card in 1984 Topps.
Arguably the greatest former quarterback in Seattle, Matt Hasselbeck ushered in a winning tradition for the Seahawks. The team had six winning seasons in seven years with Hasselbeck at the helm, including five consecutive playoff appearances and one trip to the Super Bowl. 1998 Collector's Edge First Place is the only Matt Hasselbeck rookie card option and shows him during his time with the Green Bay Packers.
One of the most talented and outspoken players in recent memory, Richard Sherman has only been with Seattle since 2011 but has already made his mark. With two Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl title, there is still plenty of time for Sherman to move up the list. Collectors can find his only rookie card in 2012 Contenders. There is also a signed version of the 2012 card that was inserted in 2013 Contenders and reportedly limited to less than 20 copies.
His stats may not always scream elite quarterback, but when Russell Wilson is on the field, he normally seems to find a way to win. His exciting ability and winning ways have endeared him to the hobby and make him the top collection option on the current team. Originally available as a redemption, the very limited Russell Wilson rookie card from 2012 National Treasures is his top overall card. Check out a complete look at all the Russell Wilson rookie cards in our detailed guide.
The driving force behind the Seattle offense during the last few seasons, Marshawn Lynch has enjoyed a resurgence in Seattle after starting his career in Buffalo. He has four straight 1,000-yard seasons along with four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances during his time with the Seahawks. The top "Beast Mode" rookie card is found in 2007 Exquisite collection and an entire rookie card checklist for Marshawn Lynch can be seen here.
While he might be a little less celebrated than some of the other current players, Earl Thomas is the heart and soul of the Seattle defense. With four Pro Bowl nods in five seasons, Thomas leads the squad known by many as the "Legion of Boom." As a first-round pick by the Seahawks, collectors have quite a few options for Earl Thomas rookie cards. His 2010 Contenders autograph checks in at the top spot.
Although his career ended with a fizzle, Shaun Alexander was a force at running back in Seattle for much of the 2000s. He reached 1,100+ yards in five straight years and added an impressive 98 total touchdowns during that five-year stretch. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was the 2005 MVP and helped the Seahawks reach their first Super Bowl. There are a ton of Shaun Alexander rookie cards in 2000 products, but his Contenders autograph is the clear favorite.
The current defense might get all the publicity, but Kenny Easley was no slouch for the Seahawks in the 1980s. One of the top safeties of his era, Easley was a five-time Pro Bowl selection during his seven-year career and was named the 1984 Defensive Player of the Year. His 1983 Topps rookie is an appealing budget option for collectors.
One of the franchise's all-time greats, Cortez Kennedy totaled eight Pro Bowl selections in 11 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. With five rookie cards available, 1990 Action Packed claims the top spot for the Hall of Fame defensive lineman.
Considered by many to be among the top wide receivers in league history, Steve Largent was one of the few stars the Seahawks had in their early years. After being drafted by Dallas and traded to Seattle in 1976, Largent spent his entire 14-year career with the Hawks. The explosive receiver was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and later joined the Hall of Fame. His 1977 Topps rookie is the top overall vintage rookie card for the Seattle Seahawks. View a detailed collecting guide for Steve Largent.
While offensive line is not the most exciting part of the game and normally not an appealing option for collectors, Walter Jones is a fan favorite and arguably the greatest tackle in league history. Picked for nine Pro Bowls, Walter Jones was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2014. Among 19 rookie card choices, 1997 SP Authentic is the most popular Walter Jones rookie card.