The Tennessee Titans are looking for help at guard, and a player with whom the Titans brass has a lot of familiarity with is now available.
Perennial Pro Bowler Steve Hutchinson, who was released over the weekend by the Minnesota Vikings, has a history with Titans front office personnel, including general manager Ruston Webster, COO Mike Reinfeldt and director of player personnel Lake Dawson from his days in Seattle.
While it might be an oversimplification with the Seattle connection, Hutchinson might be the right type of fit the Titans are looking for to restore the type of veteran leadership that has been missing since Kevin Mawae left after the 2009 season.
The “history” that Hutchinson has with the Titans front office from their days with the Seahawks is actually one of the more unusual chapters in NFL free agent annals.
Hutchinson left the Seahawks as a free agent after the 2006 season when he was Seattle's transition player, heading to the Minnesota Vikings for a $49 million contract. The amount of the contract was a record for a guard at the time, but that was not the focal issue of the deal, as it contained a “poison pill” inserted into the deal that made it nearly impossible for the Seahawks to match the contract.
The Seahawks countered by luring receiver Nate Burleson away from Minnesota with a similar “poison pill” contract, but the damage had been done. With the loss of Hutchinson, the Seahawks run game was never the same, and he led a Vikings offensive line that helped Adrian Peterson power his way to stardom.
Jake Scott is a free agent on the Tennessee offensive line, and indications are he will not be a priority to re-sign.
Though Hutchinson is 34, he still appears to have plenty of life left, and might be a good fit for a Titans offensive line that desperately wants to re-establish itself running the football.
Sources indicate the Titans considering Hutchinson as a possible o-line option is definitely within the realm of possibility. For the front office team that lost him to the Vikings under odd circumstances, it could be an atonement that the Titans would benefit from.