- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Steve Hutchinson was a great player for a long time in Seattle and Minnesota.
For the Tennessee Titans, he was a miscalculation. After one failed year in Tennessee, Hutchinson will retire from the NFL on Tuesday, per multiple reports.
Had the Titans coach and offensive line coach, offensive line Hall of Famers Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews, not determined that Hutchinson was an answer at left guard last year, the Titans might have found a better solution and would not be in such dire straits right now with regard to guard.
In 12 games Hutchinson didn’t bring the production, presence or leadership they’d hoped for from him.
And now the Titans are looking for two new starters and will be primary bidders for Buffalo’s Andy Levitre when free agency opens Tuesday afternoon. They could also spend the 10th pick in the draft on Alabama’s Chance Warmack or UNC’s Jonathan Cooper.
Hutchinson was due to count $6.75 million against the salary cap, including a $5.25 million in 2013 pay. He will leave behind a $3 million dead money cap hit, so the Titans will save $3.75 million cap dollars.
Factoring in that savings and a $2.023 million tender for restricted free agent center Fernando Velasco, the Titans stand roughly $18.323 million under the salary cap.
Hutchinson was due a $500,000 roster bonus later this week. Odds are good the Titans informed him they didn’t intend to pay it and would have to cut him, prompting the timing of his decision.