Steve Hutchinson (American football)
birthdate=birth date and age|1977|11|1
birthplace=Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Pro Bowlselection (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
* 5x All-Pro selection (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Steven J. Hutchinson (born
November 1, 1977in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is a National Football League offensive linemanfor the Minnesota Vikings. He is regarded as one of the best guards in football.
High school and college career
He attended and graduated from
Coral Springs High Schoolin 1996. In 2007 he was named to FHSAA's All-Century Teamthat listed the Top 33 football players in the state of Florida's 100 year history of high school football.
and then the University of Michigan, where he excelled as a four year starter, two year captain, four year All-Big Ten selection, two-time All-American selection, Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year winner, and
Outland Trophyfinalist. As a freshman, he started on the 1997 Michigan team that won the National Championship.
Drafted in the first round of the
2001 NFL Draftby the Seattle Seahawks, Hutchinson spent his first five seasons with that team. In March 2006, Hutchinson, a free agent, was designated as Seattle's transition player. He then signed a controversial offer sheet from the Vikings, for $49 million over seven years, believed to be the richest contract ever offered a guard. The offer sheet, though, contained a poison pill provision that would have guaranteed his entire salary if he was not the highest-paid lineman on the team.
NFL rules require that when a team uses its
transition tagon a player, they must either exactly match a competing offer sheet or relinquish their rights to that player. While the tag is unlikely to be triggered during his time with the Vikings (which means he is unlikely to see the entire $49 million), the Seahawks had recently given tackle Walter Jones a contract richer than the one offered to Hutchinson. Thus, they would have triggered the "poison pill" clause immediately, and would have been forced, by NFL rules, to guarantee Hutchinson's entire salary. Since doing so would have destroyed their salary cap, they could not match the offer. Moreover, since they only used their transition tag, rather than naming Hutchinson a franchise player, they received no compensation from Minnesota for their loss. Seattle retaliated, though, by signing Minnesota wide receiver Nate Burlesonto an offer sheet containing a similar ploy. These contracts prompted criticism of the legality of this maneuver, but no action has been taken to ban such clauses from contracts.
* [http://www.nfl.com/players/stevehutchinson/profile?id=HUT173616 NFL.com profile]
* [http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fballam/aahutchs.htm University of Michigan profile]
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