Steve Hutchinson was so good that the Vikings invented a “poison pill” provision to put in the free-agent contract he signed in 2006 so the Seattle Seahawks couldn’t match it. Not bad considering Hutchinson played the not-so-sexy position of left guard.
Hutchinson, who spent 2006 through 2011 with the Vikings and was named to seven Pro Bowls, received more confirmation of what a special player he was on Saturday when he was one of five former players named to the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class. The others elected were former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu; former Broncos safety Steve Atwater, former Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce; and former Colts running back Edgerrin James.
Hutchinson, who attended Michigan, was a first-round pick by Seattle in 2001 and played for the Seahawks until 2005. He finished his career with Tennessee in 2012. He was named to the All-Decade Team of the 2000s and is one of 12 guards in NFL history to be named first-team All-Pro at least five times.
The Vikings were able to get Hutchinson away from Seattle by signing him to a seven-year, $49 million offer sheet that called for his entire salary to be guaranteed if he was not the highest-paid offensive linemen on his team. The Vikings knew that the Seahawks had given left tackle Walter Jones a contract richer than Hutchinson’s and would have thus put themselves in an impossible salary-cap situation. The NFL brass was upset with the Vikings but couldn’t stop them from signing Hutchinson.
His reaction says it all…
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) February 1, 2020
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) February 2, 2020