Steve Hutchinson once altered the free-agent landscape in the NFL when he left the Seattle Seahawks for the Minnesota Vikings. Now, one of the league’s top offensive linemen of the past 12 years has decided to step away the day before free agency.
Hutchinson, 35, told FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer on Monday that he will announce his retirement Tuesday. Hutchinson, a five-time, first-team All-Pro, leaves the Tennessee Titans with two years remaining on his contract that was schedule to pay him $4.75 million in base salary this year and $5 million next season.
Hutchinson was recovering from knee surgery this offseason and he carried a $6.75 million cap hit, which left him as a candidate to be cut by Tennessee. The Titans signed Hutchinson last offseason to a three-year deal, $16 million contract after he was released by Minnesota. He played 12 games with Tennessee before his season was cut short by a knee injury.
“Hutch said he was waiting to see if his knee would get better but realized its time to move on. 7x All-Pro calling it a career,” Glazer reported on his Twitter account (@JayGlazer).
Hutchinson, a seven-time Pro Bowler after being a first-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2001 draft, signed the infamous “Poison Pill” contract with the Vikings in 2006 as a transition-tag free agent. Special wording in the deal made it nearly impossible for Seattle to match Minnesota’s offer because it would have fully guaranteed the deal if signed with the Seahawks. In his six seasons with the Vikings, he helped pace one of the league’s top rushing attacks.