After 12 seasons, seven Pro Bowls, seven All-Pro selections and countless dominating blocks, Steve Hutchinson is calling it a career.
Hutchinson, who entered the NFL in 2001 as a first-round draft choice by the Seahawks, announced his retirement this morning on his Twitter account.
“Retiring today after a great run in the NFL,” he tweeted. “Want to thank the Seahawks, Vikings, Titans and their fans for the opportunity.”
And Hutchinson, 35, made the most of those opportunities. He was an overpowering blocker as the left guard during his five-season stay with the Seahawks, which concluded with a run to the Super Bowl in 2005. He teamed with left tackle Walter Jones to form the best side of any line in the league, as Hutchinson was voted to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Not surprisingly, Hutchinson also was voted to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team, as selected by readers of Seahawks.com.
“The strong, silent type,” Lofa Tatupu, the middle linebacker on the 35th Anniversary team, said of Hutchinson. “I don’t really know how to describe him – a man of few words, I guess. But his actions definitely spoke volumes; the way he played and the way he handled himself as a professional.”
After the 2005 season, Hutchinson signed an offer sheet with the Vikings that the Seahawks declined to match after giving him the transition tag rather than the franchise tag when he reached free agency.
The 6-foot-5, 313-pound Hutchinson was voted to four more Pro Bowls in his first four seasons with the Vikings, and also was named All-Pro in each of those seasons. He was released by the Vikings following the 2011 season and signed with the Titans, after also being recruited by the Seahawks.
Hutchinson spent only five seasons with the Seahawks, but remains the best guard in franchise history and one of the most memorable characters.
As Tatupu put it, “As a leader, he really helped command that O-line with all those vets. Hutch had that stare. You didn’t know how to be around him: Is he going to say hi? Or is he going to punch me?
“That’s what you loved about him. He was just a straight-forward man’s man. And, he’s a good dude.”