The wait is over for Seahawks Legend Steve Hutchinson, who this summer will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hutchinson, one of the best offensive linemen of his era, was one of five modern-era selections for the 2020 Hall of Fame class along with safety Troy Polamalu, receiver Isaac Bruce, safety Steve Atwater and running back Edgerrin James, who finished his career with the Seahawks, playing seven games for Seattle in 2009. Hutchinson was one of 15 finalists each of the past two years before making it in this year.
A first-round pick in the 2001 draft, Hutchinson earned All-Pro honors three times and was a three-time Pro Bowler during his five seasons as the Seahawks' left guard. Along with Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones, Hutchinson helped form one of the NFL's most formidable lines in the 2000s, and in 2005 was part of the best offensive line and one of the best offenses in franchise history, a unit that helped pave the way for a 13-3 season that saw running back Shaun Alexander earn MVP honors while running behind Jones, Hutchinson, center Robbie Tobeck, right guard Chris Gray and right tackle Sean Locklear.
"He's a monster," Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher said last year. "He's got great feet for as big as he is. He was one of the guys I didn't like playing against because he was so good and if he got on you, you weren't getting off of him. Pass blocking-wise, he was so athletic. He was a total package for a guard. ... I've played against Larry Allen. Larry Allen is the biggest dude. Steve is right there with him. Those two right there are two of the best guards I've played against, so in my opinion, he's a Hall of Famer."
Hutchinson eventually went on to play in Minnesota and Tennessee, and finished his career as a seven-time Pro-Bowler and seven-time All-Pro. He was also named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team along with Jones and James.
"Just as Walter Jones was the best tackle I ever saw, Steve Hutchinson was the best guard," former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "He is one of the great players I ever coached. Steve was tough, smart and fierce. As his coach, I was pretty fortunate. He was one of my favorite players ever, he still is."
Hutchinson will be the fifth player who spent a significant portion of his career as a Seahawk to be enshrined in Canton along with Jones, receiver Steve Largent, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and safety Kenny Easley, all of whom spent their entire careers in Seattle.
Seven other former Seahawks are also in the Hall of Fame, though they are known more for their tenures with other teams: running back Franco Harris, quarterback Warren Moon, defensive end Carl Eller, defensive tackle John Randle, receiver Jerry Rice, center Kevin Mawae and James.
Hutchinson's Seahawks tenure didn't end on a great note, with him leaving in free agency thanks to the infamous "poison pill" clause in the contract he signed with Minnesota after the Seahawks placed the transition tag on him, but he has since reconnected with the team and been embraced by the organization and fans, even raising the 12 flag prior to a playoff game three years ago.
"This is the team that drafted me, so this is a special place," Hutchinson said after raising the 12 Flag. "This is the team that took a shot on me, and I like to think I helped build it to what it is now."
Hutchinson said at the time that he has been touched by the way Seattle fans have embraced him even if his 2005 departure angered a lot of fans.
"It's been great," he said. "It took a while, I think there was a little bit of scarring there, but here we are 10 years later. To be able to do this and see the crowd go wild, it's great."
Before kickoff of the Wild Card Round, Seahawks Legend Steve Hutchinson raised the 12 Flag at CenturyLink Field.