Thursday, July 2, 2015

steve hutchinson

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According to a June 18 article by the Pioneer Press‘ Chris Tommasson, former Minnesota Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson hopes to return to his old stomping grounds. This time, as a scout.

The 36-year-old currently lives in Wayzata with his family, but he says they will move to Nashville next week to be near relatives. Hutchinson would like to serve as another pair of eyes for promising athletes in the southern region of the States.

Hutchinson said the following:

“I’ve been talking a little bit with the Vikings about potentially scouting a little bit […] I’ve got to get settled in down there first and see what the lay of the land is. If they need a presence down South or something, depending on what they might need my skill set for [we might make a deal]. But it’s nothing that’s set in stone right now; it’s kind of just talk right now.”

The guard told Tommasson that he has spoken with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and assistant general manager George Paton, and the possibility is there.

Hutchinson played in Minnesota from 2006-2011, the Vikings acquiring him as a free agent from the Seahawks. During his time with the Vikings, Hutchinson joined four Pro Bowl squads—he is a seven-time Pro Bowler overall.  2009 proved one of the guard’s strongest seasons in Minny.  He started every game, blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher for the ninth time in his career and was part of a 475-yard offensive output against Dallas that was the second-highest total in Vikings playoff history.

In 2010, Hutchinson suffered a broken thumb. The injury sidelined him, snapping his 123-game starting record. Hutchinson played only 11 games that season before moving on to Tennessee for one year before retiring.

According to Tommasson, Hutchinson visited the Vikings minicamp Wednesday to say goodbye to some in the organization. He said “it’d be cool” if he rejoined the team in some capacity.

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The power players within the NFL have converged on Florida this weekend for the NFL’s meetings and it should make for a news filled week.

Aside from talks of cheaters (Saints), more cheaters (Cowboys and Redskins), and rule changes we can expect to hear word in the next couple days regarding compensatory draft picks.

The picks are expected to be awarded Monday or Tuesday and most media outlets, and Rick Spielman himself, have long predicted that the Vikings will receive two fourth round picks for letting Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards go last offseason.

Since early December, I have instead been predicting the Vikings will actually receive three compensatory picks from the convoluted formula:  A fourth, a sixth, and a seventh rounder.

Soon, we should find out the real answer.

Next year, it isn’t looking likely that the Vikings will receive any compensatory draft picks.  Their unrestricted free agents are not in high demand and they have already signed tight end John Carlson to a substantial contract.  Steve Hutchinson and Cedric Griffin do not count in the Vikings favor, as they were released instead of seeing their contracts expire.

It is increasingly obvious that Rick Spielman didn’t think too highly of most of the Vikings players seeing their contracts expire this month.  Sage Rosenfels and Letroy Guion are the only ones to receive contracts so far, while the front office continues to monitor the status of Erin Henderson, E.J. Henderson, and presumably safety Husain Abdullah.

That doesn’t mean that now-former Vikings players aren’t getting interest in phase two of free agency.  Here are some quick updates:

STEVE HUTCHINSON

Goes to the Titans on a three year deal worth $16 million.

The length of the contract surprised me more than the dollar amount or even the destination.  Hutch had reportedly told Vikings teammates that he was really only interested in playing one more year of football.

The Titans get a heck of a player, and a heck of a good guy, and a heck of a veteran presence here.  They had made clear, following Chris Johnson’s struggles in 2011, that the offensive line was a major priority for them.  Hutchinson may not be a long term solution, but he should be an upgrade over what they had.

With Steve Hutchinson gone, and officially not coming back, the Vikings have turned their attention to a much, much younger option to bolster their offensive line.

According to Scout.com, the Vikings plan to host offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz on Monday.

Schwartz held his own quite well for the Panthers at both right guard and right tackle two years ago, but missed all of 2011 with a hip injury.  Reports indicate that he is healthy now and drawing interest from a number of teams.

Schwartz is 6’ 6”, 331 pounds, and only 25 years old.

The Panthers could have tendered Schwartz as a restricted free agent but opted against it.  Should the Vikings end up signing Schwartz, he will be the second free agent to join the team that had not played a single snap in 2011.

Well, I have said all offseason long that I was 51% sure that Cedric Griffin and Steve Hutchinson would be back with the Vikings.

It appears I was 100% wr-wr-wr-mistaken.

As mentioned in the post below this one, guards Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera have been released by the Vikings and now we know that cornerback Cedric Griffin is a goner, as well.

“It was a tough decision as we move forward and prepare for the upcoming season and the future of our organization,” said Leslie Frazier.  “All three individuals have meant a great deal to the Vikings organization both on and off field over the years. We wish all of them the best and thank them for their service to the Minnesota Vikings.”

The Vikings have cleared roughly $13 million in cap space by making these three moves which is expected to give them over $20 million in cap space going into free agency, which starts this week.

We will continue to monitor this fluid situation, but it appears the Vikings are done making moves for today.

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