5. Steve Hutchinson
Left guard Steve Hutchinson cleared the way for Shaun Alexander to roll to his insane touchdown and rushing yard totals. After the Seattle Seahawks drafted Hutch 17th overall out of Michigan in 2001, he went on to appear in seven Pro Bowls and start 169 games for the Seahawks, Vikings, and Titans. He was a five-time All-Pro.
It’s difficult to fully quantify what Hutchinson brought to the Seahawks during the Mike Holmgren era. He flattened defenders and helped the Seahawks win the NFL scoring title in 2005 and appear in Super Bowl XL. He protected statuesque quarterback Matt Hasselbeck during his best seasons with the team. Hutchinson was instrumental in helping several of the Seahawks’ key skill players perform at their best for five seasons.
Hutchinson left Seattle in infamous fashion. The Vikings added a poison pill provision to their offer sheet for Hutch, stipulating that a team had to guarantee his full contract unless he was the highest-paid lineman on the team. The Seattle Seahawks, who were paying left tackle Walter Jones a boatload of cash, couldn’t possibly match the Vikings offer, and the Vikings knew it.
Hutchinson started 48 straight games for the Vikings before heading to Injured Reserve on December 21, 2010. Please come back as an offensive line coach or assistant. Or just suit up under a fake name. You’ll probably end up the starting left tackle for the Seahawks. Hutchinson and Walter Jones made up maybe the best-ever left side of an offensive line in the NFL, when Hutchinson was spirited away to Minnesota and Jones retired, we didn’t know what we all lost at the time as Seahawks fans.
Next: Number 4