Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Froschauer
Former Seattle Seahawk Steve Hutchinson was inducted to the 2020 NFL Hall of Fame this weekend. The former left guard steamrolled defensive linemen and linebackers for 12 years making way for NFL superstar running backs Shaun Alexander and Adrian Petersen. The former University of Michigan alum played like a wolverine for years, chewing up and spitting out defenders. Earning him 7 Pro-bowl appearances and 7 All-Pro selections. From 2003-2009 there was no better offensive guard in the game.
Hutchinson was originally a defensive lineman who made the switch to offensive line while at Michigan at the behest of Wolverines head coach Lloyd Carr. In 1997, Steve protected QB Brian Griese all the way to a National Championship. Steve would earn first team an All-American selection and may have been overshadowed by his QB and Heisman winner Charles Woodson, but his body of work is what allowed the Wolverines to dominate in the late 90’s.
Hutch was drafted in the 1st round by the Seattle Seahawks and was the dominant force who, along with Walter Jones, paved the way for the Seattle Seahawks to make their way from irrelevance to a Super Bowl. Shortsightedness by the Seahawks allowed him to move to the Minnesota Viking via an ill-conceived “Transition” tender that allowed the Vikings to implement a “Poison Pill” contract that prevented the Seahawks from matching Minnesota’s contract offer.
Outsmarted by Minnesota, Hutch took a hefty contract and dominated NFC North foes. While it can be debated if the Seahawks were even capable of resigning Hutch with Walter Jones demanding top money, the loss of Hutch may have closed the window for a championship that was all too short during the mid-2000’s.