<
>

Seahawks' No. 5 all-time player

6/27/2014

The countdown continues on my list of the top 10 Seahawks in franchise history. Current players on the Super-Bowl winning team, some of whom obviously will make this list soon, are not included. One other requirement is the man had to play at least five seasons for the Seahawks.

No. 5: Guard Steve Hutchinson.

Years in Seattle: 2001-05.

College: Michigan.

Acquired: First-round draft choice in 2001.

Accomplishments: Three time All-Pro in his five years with the Seahawks ... Member of the NFL All-Decade teams for the 2000s and the 35th Anniversary Seahawks team ... Started all 68 games he played for the Seahawks, including all 16 game of his rookie year.

Hutchinson only played five seasons with the Seahawks and there’s still some bitter feelings with the fans about his departure, but he is widely regarded as one of the best guards in NFL history.

The Seahawks were a victim of the "poison pill" when Hutchinson signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006, a clause the changed the rules on free-agent contracts.

The Seahawks put a transition tag on Hutchinson before the Vikings offered Hutchinson a $49-million deal. The problem came in a clause that read the entire $49 million was guaranteed if Hutchinson wasn't the highest paid offensive lineman on the team. At the time of the signing, Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones was making $7.5 million a year, $500,000 more than Hutchinson’s deal.

The Seahawks weren’t willing to swallow the “poison pill” clause, which would have been a $13 million salary-cap hit in 2006, and Hutchinson became a Viking. Minnesota only had to guarantee $10 million of the deal because Hutchinson was their highest-paid offensive linemen. The NFL later banned poison-pill clauses.

Hutchinson went on to have four more Pro Bowl seasons with the Vikings and was named the NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2006 and 2009, which could have happened in Seattle if not for the poison pill.